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Buddy

Cedar Rapids, IA

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#1
Feb 20, 2009
 
Wanted to let readers know to go to KCRG in Cedar Rapids Iowa and the comments section and then most popular and pick Clipper Layoffs and read what the 90 x-employees have to say about the company. As an x-employee and having been there from the beginning what you will read is true, they place no emphasis on quality and overlook it daily. The management is highly paid and incompetent at best, the owner is X-Enron, old school and bogus product that does not stay operating, high maintenance and poor performance, read and research your selves. More Later!
Gearless turbines

Fairfax, IA

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#2
Feb 21, 2009
 

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Clipper has a gearless turbine.Funny thing is,before its installed, it(turbine)has many gears. It becomes gearless (toothless)after a few hours of operation when all the gears disintegrate.I agree that it is a poorly designed project,not only the gearbox but many other components like the towers which have gaping holes in them prior to erecting.The company started out ok in Cedar Rapids,but as time went on and more and more inexperienced employees came on board,like managers who lacked strategic decision making and hourly people who were extremely unskilled in the mechanical field.Now a tumor is deeply embedded and the company and more than likely will have a quick death.
My research indicates many employees,upper management down to laborers,were all co workers at previous failed companies.Not exactly a good blue print for a start up facility.
Agree

Cedar Rapids, IA

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#3
Feb 21, 2009
 

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Well said and well put, they indeed started out on the right foot but quickly brushed quality and product development aside trying to make a quick buck, this continues today! It is an embarrassment to the wind industry and everything the industry does not need, just a poor design and poor product. I would say even with out compromising quality as they do with inexperienced QA inspectors, this unit would still be extremely high maintenance with allot of down time. You are right when you say deep tumor and incurable and the ultimate death of this business!You are also correct about the management!
x-employee

Cedar Rapids, IA

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#4
Feb 26, 2009
 

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I completely agree with your comments having worked there for well over two years, I seriously doubt they can work the bugs out. There is far to many issues that can't be resolved, and the same issues they have had from the beginning, why anyone would invest money into such a high maintenance unit is beyond me, coupled with all sorts of Gearbox,blade, and tower issues, these turbines have allot of down time!
Jud

Cedar Rapids, IA

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#5
Feb 27, 2009
 

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Get this Clipper wants to build a plant in the UK for there off shore unit, what a joke! That off shore unit went from a 7.5 to a 10.0MW, using the same principals as there failed 2.5, good grief this is with the UK's money as well are you kidding me, somebody better wake up and smell the tea and crumpets before they loose there tails on this. I would suggest research on this company before investing, check the background and everything the owner has been involved with, does Enron ring a bell?
chuck

Evergreen, AL

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#6
Mar 1, 2009
 

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I would not let a few disgruntled exemployees, who are obviously upset over the layoff, detract from the facts. It seems very suspicious to me that prior to being laid off these same employees continued to work on a product that they find so flawed. The Clipper windturbine design is solid. There are issues. But having worked on multiple types of windturbines they all have issue. Give it a year or two. They seem to have a good process of finding the problems and implementing a fix. They are a new company suffering from some growing pains. A design this radically different is going to have bugs. But in the end I believe it will be a solid machine that will continually produce 2.5 MW of power year after year. As far as the enron involvement lets get the facts straight. Jim Dehlsen is the father of american windpower. I think it's interesting that the head of Clipper Windpower (Jim Dehlsen) was instrumental in the evolving technology of wind power, bringing a technology virtually from the stone age to what we know today, in the process making what once was a forbiddingly expensive form of alternative energy and reducing its costs from 80 cents per kwH (in today' s currency) to around 5 cents today. Without that technological improvement, wind power simply would not be feasible, even with today's high energy fuel costs. General Electric got its start in the wind power business by buying the technology of Dehlsen's earlier
turbine designs. One of Dehlsen's biggest
successes was in redesigning the bearings to
acheive a more maintenence free and longer lasting turbine. He also introduced blade feathering technology to optimize energy extraction from the winds. He'll go down as the
father of American wind power. His involment in enron is only the fact that they bought the technology from him.(back then it was Zond). He is no more guilty of the crimes that enron committed then the people that bought electricity from enron.
your kidding

Fairfax, IA

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#7
Mar 1, 2009
 

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Im an ex-employee and are you kidding,FLAWED..! try poor design.I brought many issues up in the 2 plus years i was there and nothing was done about it.the gear box is a train wreck where the thought of harmonics was not even thought about.There are way too many moving parts like the gear train where no matter how well you time them or harden them or even change the pitch of the gears,there will be a wearing issue that will need constant watch. I wont even get into the poor quality of parts being made,IE. blades,tower sections not to mention Clipper constantly going delinquent on their bills, just ask Williams Fastener if you think I don't know what im talking about. They now are a single supplier to Clipper's competition 30 miles down the road,why ? because that company pays the bills.
chuck

Evergreen, AL

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#8
Mar 1, 2009
 

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How is that different than the 3 stage gear box on a typical turbine? Look at other technologies. They are having worse issues than Clipper is having. And as far as paying the bills... there are a lot of companies right now that are struggling to survive. Times are tough. Blades are made by the same manufacturer that makes blades on other turbines. I'm not saying they are perfect but they aren't the only turbine out there with some issues. I still think that fundamentally the design is a good one and once the bugs are chased out the turbine will be a good one.
Jud

Cedar Rapids, IA

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#9
Mar 1, 2009
 

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Well Chuck you are sadly mistaken here! This information is not related to disgruntle laid off employees sir, rather x-employees that would like you and the general public to know and understand what is really behind these units. First of all you say you are suspicious of these comments by laid off workers, well sir we did speak up that is why we lost our jobs! Clipper has always compromised quality and always will. They never had a strong working prototype on this design and really should have accomplished that prior to selling even one unit. The customer is always number one, these turbines should be built as if they were jet airliners, actually I believe that same integrity should be put into any product, unfortunately not what Clipper believes. JD has indeed done allot for the wind industry, however this was not the way to go out, it will be a large blemish on his on his final report card from an industry standpoint. By the way he was one of few that came out 40 million ahead during the Enron days, not a crime at all, but let me use your term,suspicious? This product is highly unstable and non-repairable far to many issues, do some research on this product, you will find several negative remarks and overviews from folks that have been in the wind industry for several years, one that sticks in my mind is the word embarrassment to the wind industry, how unfortunate for us all. Let me know if you would more in depth information on the plant operations or just general info!
jethro

Fairfax, IA

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#10
Mar 1, 2009
 
well i forgot to mention to you die hards out there and for any future buyer to take a look at clipper's performance in the stock market right now. do some research and tell me who just recently unloaded approximately 300k worth of stock.also concerning clipper not paying their bills.this wasn't a recent thing pal,this incident happened in early 2007.Face it, they're going downnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.
chuck

Evergreen, AL

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#11
Mar 1, 2009
 
Yeah I did assume too much as far as laid off workers for that I apologize. I would like to know more about specific issues that are not being addressed. I know they have some issues but it is to my knowledge that they are developing ways of correcting them.
Jud

Cedar Rapids, IA

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#12
Mar 1, 2009
 
(Your Kidding individual), great comments and right on the money! Let me echo those same words and issues! Check the financials, Clipper is having trouble getting parts and material due to non payment and lack of investors, why would anyone invest that type of money into a poor product with basically no return on investment. Turbines actually have to operate to make power, Clipper set a bench mark of 1000 hours for 100 turbines to operate, that is 41.6 days, can you imagine buying these turbines at 2.5 million a bench mark of 41 days with a warranty of 25 years? I guess that's what they mean when they say a warranty is only worth about as much as the paper it is written on!
jethro

Fairfax, IA

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#13
Mar 1, 2009
 
Like a news paper article said out east about clipper. you cant fix a horse with a broken leg
jethro

Fairfax, IA

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#14
Mar 1, 2009
 
chuck you got me going now! lets put design issues and manufacturing process aside for a moment and talk about the morality issue.The adultery is completely out of control not to mention partiality being practiced by management. In other words,'the good ol boy syndrome'
chuck

Evergreen, AL

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#15
Mar 1, 2009
 
what does that have to do with wind turbines?
Jud

Cedar Rapids, IA

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#16
Mar 1, 2009
 
Well Chuck they have so many issues what would you like to know? I believe they have some very good engineers that have labored on these and other issues from the beginning, just unable to clear them up, which really goes back to not having a viable prototype that was successful! What they have now is a new CEO courtesy of a hostile take over basically, the One Equity group invested 150 million into Clipper with the stipulation they received two seats on the board and there man in as the new COO having JD's son Brent step down and out from the COO position. A short time later JD himself stepped aside so there guy could become the new CEO mainly because Clipper burnt that 150 million up fairly quick on accounts payable and warranty issues, coupled with a poor performing product. These guys expected a return on investment and had bragging rights to being successful as an investment group, until now! They are really scrambling in effort to get something going, unfortunately the failure rate is to high to attract new investors, so one attempt was to downsize, problem is they cut all the wrong people, most of which tried to bring in organized labor,or did not previously work for the plant manager who was previously the plant manager in that same facility and that Clipper hired which he in turn hired his old buddies. By the way that company went under as well under his direction, but I will let Jethro tell you more on that! Something to chew on Chuck, more later, any requests?
chuck

Evergreen, AL

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#17
Mar 1, 2009
 
Thats some interesting stuff. We'll discuss more on this later its bedtime.
Jud

Cedar Rapids, IA

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#18
Mar 1, 2009
 
Chuck the Clipper Gear Box is a Quantum Drive it has 4 generators instead of just one, which means the gearbox is much larger and contains more gears and ratios, timing is essential and very hard to achieve, what happens is the gears end up getting chewed up fairly quick, plus the vibration from this unit has and does cause major oil leaks. Clippers blades come from Brazil as does there base,hub and gearbox castings. The blades are broke by the time they reach the port of Houston, part of the cause is Clippers design, so they only get partial warranty, so they are really eating allot of expense on repairs and warranty, with issues they just can't clear up. The product is old school, the reason nobody uses this design would be for all these reasons. I think Clipper is basically about out of money and saddled with a high maintenance unit. Research electromagnetic turbines, no gears, something Accionna Energy is doing R&D on as we speak. Less is better follow technology and move forward not back like Clipper!
jethro

Fairfax, IA

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#19
Mar 2, 2009
 

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chuck,you asked what adultery and partiality has to do with turbines.? let me put it to you this way.lets say for example your suspicious about your wife maybe having a fling,or she is suspicious of you having one. Now tell me just how focused you would be at work.Im sure your attention to detail and work ethics would be low priority, end result,a poorly built turbine on top of a poor design from the get go.Another example chuck would be you deserving a promotion or a new position only to be passed over for your boss'es buddy,how would that make you feel.?
Jud

Cedar Rapids, IA

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#20
Mar 2, 2009
 

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Well said Jethro and true! I have been around manufacturing for several years and we all know how bad the politics can be, but the management at Clipper was very blatant and open with this, in fact I believe they wanted the outsiders ( Non Goss Graphics) to see this and be fully aware! Goodness the plant manager played the lead role in doing so and it was condoned by the corporate office in CA. All said you are right it affected several individuals and made it difficult to achieve any success in the work place. I will say though the guys and gals on the lines that were outsiders still managed to do the best they could under the circumstances. Cause and effect very evident at Clipper in many, many ways! Good point!

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