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Country Discussion Topics
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Anyone using a small wind elec gen?
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IaGuy    Posted 12-08-2004 at 18:16:27       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I am considering building a small generator to preheat water
going to my elec water heater and maybe some resistive
baseboard heating. Looking at Hugh Piggot's ideas. Has anyone
on this board used wind electric? Does it live up to its promise?


Hal/WA    Posted 12-09-2004 at 15:41:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
In the 1920's, my grandfather had a windcharger (spelling?) on the farm in NE Montana. He had a bunch of batteries in his shop, as well as a gas engined generator if the batteries were down and the wind didn't blow. They used the electricity to run some lighting in the house and shop, and had a couple of radios. At that time they also had a large windmill to pump water and had the windcharger power head mounted on another tower. The wind blows quite a bit of the time in that area, and from what I have been told, the systems worked quite well.

But REA brought in power lines, I believe in the late 1940's, which is befor I was born. I have been to that farm, which my cousins still operate, but all of the wind equipment is gone, replaced long ago with the more efficient and easier AC equipment.

Travelling around the country, I have seen a bunch of water well windmills that appeared to still be operating. There also are others that appear to be nearly complete and others that are bare towers.

If I was serious about actually producing some power from the wind, rather than just fooling around with it, I would start by obtaining an existing tower and if possible whatever else I could find of an old system. It is possible that there are windcharger systems that were taken down years ago and have been stored ever since. Maybe you could find one. Another thought would be to use a water pumping windmill wheel, tail and gearbox and set things up to run a generator from a system at the bottom of the tower that would change the up and down motion of the pump rod into rotary motion again.

I think that somewhere in the early Mother Earth News Magazine they had a series about setting up wind generation. Although I have not looked for it, I bet the information could be obtained on the internet.

Of course there are always new ways to do things. But I know of water pumping windmills that are still providing reliable water supplies after nearly 100 years with relatively little maintanance. So I would research how they accomplished this reliability and efficiency.

Or maybe you COULD reinvent the wheel. Good luck!


screaminghollow    Posted 12-09-2004 at 06:13:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
fella down the road doesn't have grid power. he operates a roof top wind generator and a couple of solar panels to charge some deep cycle marine batteries. He's got 12 volt lights,12 v TV, 12 coffee pot, etc., even a 12 volt electric saucepan. He is only there about 3 days a week and the batteries poop out at about 48 hours. then he runs a heavy duty 12 volt extension a socket in the side of his truck.

my brother made a small wind generator years back out of a bicycle wheel, bicycle fork, duct tape and a 3 volt generator, the kind they sell for rubbing on the tire to light the head light. He had it hooked up to a light in his shed. The problem was that when there was wind, the light was on. the wind normally dies at dusk around here and doesn't pick up until dawn, so he rarely had light in the shed at night, when he needed it.

We made a small wind mill in HS as an experiment. It was a conduit frame with canvas covering, like the postcards of Holland sort of thing. It really didn't work at all, but we were in 10th grade. I have been tempted to try one with a sturdier plastic sheathing like thin polycarbonate.


Rick    Posted 12-09-2004 at 04:45:58       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Otherpower.com Is a very informative site with a disscusion board.
Rick


deadcarp    Posted 12-09-2004 at 02:34:54       [Reply]  [No Email]
check the average wind reports first. few years ago, i already had a spinning vertical drum made outa a plastic barrel. it would charge a car battery but from what i'd read, it would have gained oodles if it was 32 feet in the air. then i found a book that told me our wind only pays in april.


Fern(Mi)    Posted 12-09-2004 at 02:45:37       [Reply]  [No Email]
Any real wind what gets made around here usually finds me soon sitting by myself.


Mike    Posted 12-08-2004 at 18:40:33       [Reply]  [Send Email]
U got enough wind where u live to push one? If you can gear up and get 2000 rpm's then just use an old GM self-regulating 12V alternator. Would be good for up to 70 amps, or roughly 800 watts. With a 10' diameter blade you'd need about a 20 mph wind.


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