Troubleshooting: spins up, shuts down

By following this guide, you will find the source of the "spin up, shut down" behavior of your AIR. First, I would like to explain that the AIR turbine needs a small (milliamps) amount of electricity to operate its internal circuitry. The circuit board requires at least 10.5 volts for a 12V turbine, or it will be running open circuit. When in open circuit mode, the turbine will spin until it charges the circuit board, then the LED will illuminate and the turbine will brake suddenly as a protective measure. Once stopped, the circuit card discharges and is unable to maintain braking (since it's not connected to the battery voltage it needs to operate) and the turbine will spin up again.

This can be caused by a number of factors. Please begin by checking the following:

• Check the battery bank voltage. It must be at least 10.5 volts (assuming a 12V system) for the circuit to work properly.
• Check all wire connections for a failed or weak connection.
• Check the inline fuse or circuit breaker for an open condition.
• Make sure the wires are properly sized for the length of run, as described in the manual. Undersized wire will cause the turbine to enter regulation mode whenever it produces high current.
• If you have a stop/brake switch, remember that if the toggle is in the center position, the turbine will be in open circuit mode. Try running the red and black wires from the turbine directly to your battery bank, bypassing all inline components. If this fixes the problem, the issue may be with one of your inline components or in the wiring.
• Make sure you are not attempting to run the turbine through a solar charge controller or any diode containing device.

If your wire and connections are good, then the next step is to test the turbine. Please see page 26 of the owner's manual for a description of the bench tests. In case yours isn't handy, the manual can be downloaded here:

These tests require you to take the turbine off your tower, and use only the red and black leads from the turbine. That way the turbine is isolated from the rest of the system, and if the test results are normal, then you know that the problem lies outside of the turbine, and is actually a connection or wire issue.

Lastly, while the turbine is down, it is a good idea to inspect the inside, particularly the brush-to-slip ring connection. The brushes are located on/near the circuit board, and can be accessed by removing the face and the yaw assemblies. Please follow the instructions in the circuit replacement kit to remove the face assembly and access the circuit board and the yaw assembly which has the slip rings. The instructions have references to the owner's manual. In case your manual isn't handy, here is a link to the latest copy:

Once you have taken off the face assembly, remove the snap ring on the yaw assembly, as shown in the attachment. This will give you access to the slip rings. Use Emory cloth or fine grit sandpaper to clear away carbon debris buildup and smooth out grooves. Next, put the slip rings back in so they are contacting the brushes. Being careful to discharge any static electricity and avoid touching the circuit board, place sandpaper or cloth on the slip ring. Rotate it so that it rubs against the brushes, and move it back and forth to clean the brushes.

While you have the turbine opened, check around the circuit board to make sure the components are fully intact. Make sure no components are burned or have become detached from the board. And again, be careful you don't discharge any static electricity to the circuit board. A little shock will damage the board. Also check the condition of the brushes the make sure the brush wires are not frayed.

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