17 September 2008

Eggbeater/Energy Ball Info

Following up on James' comment, here's the information on the company that produces the Urban Windmill known as Energy Ball and/or Eggbeater:

Home Energy International Buys Ballotstraat 9
4507 DA Schoondijke
Netherlands

T +31 (0) 23 558 0022 
F +31 (0) 23 558 1870
www.home-energy.com 
E-Mail: projects@home-energy.com

Yes, it's in Holland. Don't sweat it: They speak English and have lovely pastries.

Here's a business outline for the local market:

1) Contact the company and ask for distributorship information covering the Caribbean. (Yes, the Caribbean. There's wind outside of Puerto Rico, people.)

2) If the company's in too early a stage to set up the Caribbean distributorship (very likely given the information on their website), arrange to explore the potential with them within the next 30 days.

3) Prepare a brief Business Plan (1-2 pages) showing market highlights, competition, price structures and relevant executive-level personnel. Remember to show market highlights, competition and price structures in the Caribbean.

4) Follow-up with the company if they respond by sending them any requested info and your business outline. If they don't respond within a week, send them another e-mail. They're probably very busy with tons of stuff and things tend to slip through the cracks when the crazy stage hits a start-up.

5) Throw rocks at your business outline to make it stronger, but no longer than 3 pages. It's an outline, not a wikipedia. You want to be able to grasp the significant points and be able to share them with interested parties in seconds. 

6) Forget government monies. Forget banks. Think "credit unions." But don't approach any until you have an understanding--better yet, a contract--with Home Energy International. 

7) Keep your eyes, ears and mind open to explore the full potential of Energy Ball windmills in the Caribbean. I keep pounding that point home because most of Our entrepreneurs see only one market--Puerto Rico--and get the willy-nillies when they even think about other markets.

8) Get started now.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

6 comments:

James said...

I bow to to your obviously superior Google skills. I searched, but couldn't find it. Sounds like a good plan, for someone with the time and inclination to pursue it. I wish it was me, but alas...

Anyway, I only found technical information on one product: Energy Ball V100, which generates 100 watts per hour in a 22 mile/hour wind... not un-doable for Puerto Rico, but not a good number to use as an average.

So say you're generating 100 watts per hour for 24 hours. That's 2.4 kwh x 365 or approx 876 kwh and divide by 12 months to give me my monthly power generated - drum roll please

73 whole kwhs or 6.6% of my monthy bill (I use 1100 kwh a month on average). At the power authorities combined rate of 29 cents per kwh, that's a whopping $21 saved per month. That's not too terrible, but considering I used a best case wind scenario AND don't know the cost of the device, I'd have to say it unlikely this would find any use on anything other than somebody's boat or remote guest house.

Think about it, if the device costs anything more than $1000 with installation and hookup, you're talking 4 years or more to even break even.

Of course, maybe I read the specifications wrong or something, but that's the way I see it with my back of the envelope calculations.

James said...

Oh, I did some more research and the numbers quoted in the original article you cited are disingenuous. The V100's MAX rated wattage output is 500, hardly sustainable. Hell, even 100 W at a wind speed of 22 miles/hour isn't sustainable. The models break down like this:

V100 -> rated power at 22 miles/hour = 100 watts
V100 -> rated power at 38 miles/hour = 500 watts
V200 -> rated power at 22 miles/hour = missing
V200 -> rated power at 38 miles/hour = 2500 watts

Ha, so it's not an apples to apples comparison. Let's, just for the sake of argument, assume that the scaling is proportional across those models. That would give the V200 a 22 miles/hour rating of 500 Watts, or five times higher than the V100.

Now, we're talking about $105 in energy generated monthly at our costs here in Puerto Rico. We're closer, but then I see the price, without mounting hardware or installation is $8,100. That's 6..4 years to break even - and that's the best case scenario.

I'm off to look up the wind speed averages for our area, and I'll post another comment.

I totally want to go off grid, but wherever I go, the costs just don't make sense.

James said...

So here's the final verdict. It's not pretty.

Considering a 33 ft mast, which which would be pretty tall for a home installation, we get (in the San Juan area) an average of 11.5 miles/hour wind. It's a little higher in the interior of the island. It goes up to 13 in Cayey, for example.

So using our new calculations and assuming a linear relationship to power generation (given our two endpoints of 500 and 2500 watts), I will assume we would get about 250 watts of continuous generation from the V200, or about $52.5 a month in savings for an $8,100 investment, which pays off in over 12 years.

Ouch. You see why I hate this shit? They keep fucking with us. The cost of that thing should be at least a quarter what it is now.

Gil C. Schmidt said...

James, I had information that the Energy Ball could (eventually?) produce 400-450 watts an hour on winds averaging 11-12 mph. That's an eight-fold increase in the current level, leading to about 10-12 kwh a day or about 3,650-4,250 kwh a year, which I think comes out to just under 50% of your current monthly bill.

I believe I based My estimates on a new design/size, but it's in the works and the projected numbers are well within reason, as larger windmills (not for urban settings) produce more power and the Energy Ball is radically more efficient in all wind speeds.

What remains to be seen is the cost/value ratio, for the purchase price needs to be under $3,000 to be accessible and reasonable for homeowners.

Gil C. Schmidt said...

James, I agree: The numbers don't make financial sense yet. The numbers I used were based on what the company expects to be able to provide by the end of 2008, as quoted in an interview. That means "start-up projection" which means "25% over on the specs and 150% under on the delivery time."

Note that average wind speed in PR is about what you state (11-12 mph), but that the Energy Ball still produces some wattage at lower speeds, so that production can be stored. (Every little bit counts.) Also, the average home consumes more power at specific times (mornings and nights) with some daytime power usage well within production rates. (Keep the fridge and other appliances off the grid.) Coordinating the power production to off-peak usage could tweak your numbers towards higher savings. Or you could do the opposite, to reduce your total grid demand during peak hours and also reduce your bill (because you get charged for "peak demand" whether you were at that rate for 1 minute or one day.)

It's complex. It's frustrating. And if We can solve it, We've got a clear-cut winner on Our hands. Now let Me get back to the Dutch and ask them what their current specs are...

The Insider said...

I was reviewing your calculations on ROI. It occurred to me, ROI based only on off-grid KWHs gained might not be the best way to think about it.

My response was getting lengthy so I leveraged it as a full post on my blog. But basically I looked at different ways to consider value that include everything from catalytic effects, to psychology/mindset, to even sponsorship and networking! ;)

And I just might have been successful in convincing myself that the true value might not depend "entirely" on the efficiencies of this device, nor the average wind speeds in Puerto Rico. :)