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Thread: Wooden Windmill

  1. #1

    Wooden Windmill

    So what sayeth the experts? Do you think its feasible to build a working wooden windmill? By working I mean able to withstand the buffering of the wind, apply power and do something useful with it?

    Everyone knows on here that I am a machinist and can weld and fabricate, but even at the price my company pays for steel, its kind of prohibitive for an all steel windmill. I was thinking of making the majority of my windmill out of wood and then using steel for only the parts that really need to be steel.

    I was thinking of building a verticle axis windmill (VAWM) and then building the tower out of wood as well. Maybe a 16 foot section 8 x 8, then another section 16 feet high 6 x 6, and then a final section 16 foot section 4 x 4 so it was 48 feet high in all.

    As for the "work", I really don't need electricity. What little bit it would produce would do very little to drop my electric bill. Instead I would like to do something with heat. I had two ideas really. Coupling the windmill so that it was running an air compressor. I could use the air inside my shop, but more importantly I could encircle the compressor with water tubes and run that water into my radiant floor heating system (low temp water).

    Another idea is to use the windmill to run a plunger. This plunger would compress hydraulic oil out through a relief valve. Squeezing that oil through such a tiny orifice heats oil up very fast. If I take that hydraulic oil and coil the hydraulic line inside a water tank, it should heat the water up as well. I could then transfer that heated water to my radiant floor.

    So what do you think? Would a wooden windmill work, and would some of my ideas for converting mechanical motion into heat energy also work?
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North West Indiana
    Posts
    6,099
    Travis do you get or have you ever seen the magazine "Farm Show"? It is a magazine about farmer built inventions. Saw a farmer utilizing 50 gallon barrels and collecting the methane. For some reason, thought of you while reading that!
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  3. #3
    No I haven't seen that show.

    You probably thought of me because of last years Thread on compost heat. I must admit of all the things I have thought of to heat my home, I keep coming back to that because it will make heat 24/7/365 without needing the sun to be up, cloudless skies or windy weather.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    13,460
    My wife's grandfather heats his place using one of those outdoor stoves. Looks like a big stainless steel box, but the water circulates through it to the baseboards in the house, also uses it for the hot water in the house. He puts two or three logs on it every day, which is enough to do both. For the summer time he's got a natural spring that is behind the house with the water coming out at 50 degrees (F). He gravity feeds it to the house and circulates it through the same baseboards. Never seen his house when it was uncomfortable. Last I checked he had a solar panel charging a battery that was running the pump.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Hempstead, Texas
    Posts
    80
    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Johnson View Post
    So what sayeth the experts? Do you think its feasible to build a working wooden windmill? By working I mean able to withstand the buffering of the wind, apply power and do something useful with it?
    Travis,

    You could use it to aerate a pond, if ya got alot a fish in it.
    What I would like to do is build a wood water tower or a water tank.

    I have thought of wanting to build a wood water tank for rain water, to water the yard and garden but finding free plans has not givin to many results.

    Here are some links for ref:
    http://www.texaswindmills.com/

    for Parts:
    http://windmills.swnebr.net/


    Good Luck
    Ted

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