Windmills

Discussion in 'Off grid power' started by Caribou, Feb 12, 2018 at 12:44 PM.

  1. Feb 12, 2018 at 12:44 PM #1

    Caribou

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    Windmills are an option for electricity and in the past for machinery. This is a place to discuss any pros or cons along with any brands.

    I have heard it said that they only work in a wind tunnel. I happen to live in a wind tunnel. A power transmission line runs through my property and the trees are kept cut down to prevent problems. The area I live in is known for its wind.

    Wind zones are rated up to a scale of 7. My last home was in an area rated 6.5 to 7 depending on who did the rating. I do believe that windmills are a viable option.
     
  2. Feb 12, 2018 at 1:16 PM #2

    Weedygarden

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    Before there was a power grid and almost every house in America had power lines coming to them, windmills was a way for rural people in the plains states to have power. The prairies of America used to be riddled with windmills, but now they are used for yard decorations. My grandparents used them to pump water into stock tanks from their wells for their cattle to have water.

    Some people tear them down because they think they no longer need them. Some people give them away. Some people sell them. Some people find old ones and put them up in their yards. One of my cousins put and old one up on his property a few years ago that someone gave him. He does not use it for power, but he could because of the amount of wind he has on his land.

    I did have a city slicker tell me they were not a viable option for power. He probably didn't have a dress blow over his head from the wind, like I have. :eek::eyeballs: And he grew up in NYC, where power comes in from the electrical line like magic. :facepalm:
     
  3. Feb 12, 2018 at 1:22 PM #3

    SheepDog

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    Wind mills and wind turbines are a good choice for those areas that have at least ten MPH winds most of the time. In my area wind is a good option. There is enough energy to pump water or grind grain using wind mills and wind turbines can generate good quantities of electrical power. There are times of the year that we don't get much wind but during those times there is usually enough solar energy to help out. There are two months when fog hides the sun and the winds don't blow for about two weeks. For that period we would have to have batteries to provide the power.
     
  4. Feb 12, 2018 at 4:01 PM #4

    Amish Heart

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    We have one standing in the front yard of our farmhouse. Doesn't work, needs repair. It was used to pump water for the washhouse. The last owner was not Amish, tore down the washhouse, and took the pump. Cut the whole thing off at ground level.
     
  5. Feb 12, 2018 at 4:04 PM #5

    Caribou

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    The wind may not blow on any given day but it when it does blow it blows day or night. Like solar power it is better at some time than others. A blended system would help provide energy in more conditions. Cloudy days, particularly stormy days, could provide wind energy when the solar panels are not at their best.

    On my sailboat I had a wind generator, a solar panel, and a towed generator that produced electricity with the passage of my boat through the water. Most of the time I had energy going into my batteries.
     
  6. Feb 12, 2018 at 4:45 PM #6

    buildit

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    The modern version is called a wind turbine. Wind mills are used to mill grains by crushing it between two moving stones. ;-) I had a turbine for a few years I used to power my barn lights. Thats about all it was good for really at 800 Watt. So back when most models ran in the $15,000 and up range if they were even going to help power a home at all. Cons to turbines is they require regular maintenance as they have moving parts and usually have a brush and need greased. So putting a turbine on a permanent or hard to get to location is a bad idea.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018 at 10:02 PM
  7. Feb 12, 2018 at 4:47 PM #7

    viking

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    The most ideal place for wind generators that I've been is a 50 mile circle around Winnemucca, Nevada, there's always a stiff wind blowing around there and I've seen a lot of wind generators on homes and ranches, even on motorhome. A lot of places don't have electrical power lines along side of the roads going by their homes.
     
  8. Feb 12, 2018 at 6:41 PM #8

    hiwall

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    I have heard many times of the wind generators requiring a lot of maintenance.
    The windmills of the past worked fairly well for pumping water but now days most of those old windmills are being replaced with solar powered well pumps instead. Way less maintenance expense with solar pumps.
     
  9. Feb 12, 2018 at 8:13 PM #9

    *Andi

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    We checked into them but found that in our area they were a waste of money ...
     
  10. Feb 12, 2018 at 8:30 PM #10

    Caribou

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    If you don't have the right location you might as well buy solar panels and mount them inside your garage. I'd really like to set up my pelton wheel but I don't have an appropriate water source.
     
  11. Feb 12, 2018 at 10:30 PM #11

    BugoutBob

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    We don’t have the wind for them here in the valley and they would not survive on the mountain tops. I have seen the destruction to turbines in big wind farms when things go awry. They just seem to fold up on top of themselves. They make tons of noise, kill millions of birds and there are lots of anecdotal reports of health issues in the areas around wind farms. Now none of that negates the idea of something for personal use if the location is right and you can maintain it. I just know that they are not the wonderful green answer they are hyped to be.
     
  12. Feb 12, 2018 at 11:30 PM #12

    TMT Tactical

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    My personal view is there is not any single energy source that is 100 percent reliable to supply constant energy off grid. Multiple power sources are required to maintain a modern standard of living. Wind turbines can help, solar can help but I would also want a gas generator too.

    Now the big factor jumps up--- cost vs. value. Occasional 10+ MPH winds not viable for expensive Wind Turbines. Limited day light hours vs. solar, makes solar power viability limited. Too many panels and batteries needed to produce and store enough energy. Gas cost vs. generator is a constant unknown but you can bet the prices will continue to rise over time. So can your location afford all three power sources? OR are you going to have to plan for power down / interruptions or reduced operations at home? Solar, Wind and Gas systems are not cheap and require many components to be able to switch power from one system to another and then into the house. If your house needs X amount of power, then each system is going to need to produce a share of that power. Solar and Wind into battery banks, then into house. Generator into house and battery banks, all under carefully controlled conditions. Not cheap and all will require some form of expertise to maintain the system. Complete off grid systems are not going to be for the poor prepper or the unskilled prepper. You better know know and understand how your systems work and how to repair it. Off grid system are not economically good choices but only an off grid system will provide you with the ability to be self sufficient. JM2C
     
  13. Feb 13, 2018 at 6:36 AM #13

    *Andi

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    We put in a propane generator last month ... Power loss is a giving in my area and being the last house on the line, we are the last to get service back. In the past I thought little about this but with up to three freezers of beef that changed.
    Just a little added insurance ...
     
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  14. Feb 13, 2018 at 12:14 PM #14

    BugoutBob

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    In this community we would be back to the 1800s vey quickly. Wind and solar not viable other than occasional substitute. No natural gas. Propane trucked in. One main power line into the valley and we know from experience it’s vulnerabilities to storms and forest fire. The one thing we have is plenty of wood and every hom3 has a wood stove or good wood burning fireplace.

    This is far from being* a wealthy community, but many people have a reasonably stocked larder, a garden and already hunt and fish. Once the 500 gallon propane tanks are empty we will be on our own.
     
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  15. Feb 14, 2018 at 9:38 AM #15

    SheepDog

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    In a grid down situation there won't be power to pump natural gas, propane or liquid fuels of any kind. That means that trucking,trains and aircraft will be stopped and without power the shipping of imports through our ports will not happen. You will have what you stored and what you can grow. The stored stuff will run out and that will leave you with what you can produce on your own.It will be a few years before there will be enough trust to trade or barter for anything so having wind, solar or water power will be of some benefit. If these are not viable then firewood is going to be a premium resource. A weather tight home that is well insulated is a necessity. Geothermal might help even if it is just a geogrid that brings air into your home at 55F. Cooling in the summer and warming in the winter.
     
  16. Feb 14, 2018 at 1:04 PM #16

    Weedygarden

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    Two is one and one is none!
     
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  17. Feb 15, 2018 at 2:41 PM #17

    SheepDog

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    There is no shortage of resources yet so make them all work for you.
     

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