Anyone have a windmill?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by oz in SC, Aug 30, 2004.

  1. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    I remember from a long time ago in my youth :rolleyes: that there were a LOT of windmills in Australia to provide water to livestock.

    Is there anyone here who uses them for either water pumping or power???

    If so can you tell me about if it is worthwhile on a homestead.
     
  2. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    Yes, we had one for years for irrigating our yard trees and orchard. The orchard out grew the water output capacity eventually (over 300 pecan trees), and we put a pump on the well.

    I like having one. The whoosh clunk of the fan is pleasant in the mornings. :)
     

  3. pinemead

    pinemead Well-Known Member

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    Absolutly worth it. My neighbor has one and I'd have one too if I could afford to put one in.
     
  4. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    Thanks,what I am trying to do is get a list of sorts together of what is a worthwhile addition to our 'homestead to be'.

    The property is, for all intents and purposes a blank slate.

    We (kind of) have the available funds while we are down here in SC and it makes sense to me to try and get what would be a beneficial addition to the farm(to be :D ).
     
  5. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    Do you have an existing water well? Is it in a spot that gets good air flow?

    Will you have to use the water for your home as well as irrigation?
     
  6. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    No we don't have well but could a windmill be used to 'pull' water from a creek?

    We have one bigger creek on one boundary line and two smaller 'streams'(more like a 3' wide ditch :p ) ON the property itself.

    The property is on the side of a hill and slopes down to a flat area between one of the streams and the bigger creek.

    I would imagine that the best place for a windmill would be on the top of the hill.
     
  7. sue currin

    sue currin Well-Known Member

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    If you are pumping water from a stream maybe you should use a hydraulic ram to water with, much cheaper sue
     
  8. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

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    If you have a creek running acrost yer property, i would opt for a ram pump, people who have those maybe have to replace a check valve once every 50 years or so....

    Wind generators that can power the whole kaboodle are more spendy than solar panels, we have an airex 409 on our wireess tower with 3 solar panels, wind blows steady every day [ive personally never been to the site when it was not some breeze and moving the mill] but with 8 trojan L-16's, we still have to charge the batteries with a gas genset once inawhile when its cloudy, and the wind mill dont do much more than keep a trickle going in..... the fellas at the factory told me over the phone i needed 3 of the wind generators to keep it at a good charge, ......

    All we have is a computer, 2- one amp amplifiers, and 2 teltronix radios that pull about 65watts each going and it still pulls our batteries down when it clouds over even with wind at 40 plus MPH [we get steady above that but after 47 mph the brake kicks on]

    deending upon your fall on the property also you may consider a small "pelton" water genset.
     
  9. sancraft

    sancraft Well-Known Member

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    What about for power? Has anyone used a windmill for power?
     
  10. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    This is one case where size matters. For the proper power output you should match the fan size of the mill wheel to the size of the well cylinder. You should also match the height of the tower to the needs of the fan size. The higher you go the more power you typically get from a mill.

    Setting the mill on the top of a hill sounds good in theory. However by doing this you also have to lift water a greater height, which of course requires more power. Air will often roll off of the tops of ridges, so it might be proper to locate the mill in the valley area on a taller tower instead.

    The two windmills on our family farm were pretty much standard for our area of western Kansas, i.e. 30 towers and 6 foot diameter fans. There was a calm wind period about once per summer to where an additional means of pumping was required. Usually a pump jack and electric motor. Some used a small gasoline engine at remote sites on their pump jack. They could then just add an estimated amount of gasoline to pump the correct amount of water to replenish the stock tank, then allow the engine to run out of fuel to shut the engine down.

    Modern farm needs often outstrip the water needs of what a windmill can produce. A well cylinder can only pump so much, and are quite costly themselves. I think they are up around $300 just for the cylinder, then there is the pipe, pump rods, above ground pump head, tower, and mill. Also the proper tools for working on the cylinder and pipe. A used set of well tools typically sells for $100 or more at auction.

    Bottom line, most farmers now a days don't bother with windmills. A submersible pump can be installed, hooked to electricity and then pretty well ignored save for the paying of the utility bill. A float device will also stop the water flow while a windmill needs tended to turn it on and to turn it off---unless you are simply going to waste the natural water resource.

    There is also a certain level of knowledge required to set up the pipe, rods, and cylinder in a well. There is also the yearly or bi-yearly pulling of the well to replace cylinder pump leathers. With some systems you need only pull the pump rods to replace the leathers.

    Do I have one? No, not installed. My water demands for gardening are greater than what a mill could produce. Will I ever have one for nostalgia? Yes, as I already have a mill, tower, and a well worn well cylinder. I still need another hole in the ground. lol. Also galvanized pipe, rods, and pump head. Hm, I do own a piece of property that does have a system already in place on it. I am not close to it however. The tennent uses the well to water livestock when pasturing off the field. So on the other hand, yes I have a windmill.
     
  11. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Florida has a rating of 1 for windmill power; we don't have the winds for powe generation. However, windmills are used to pump water in many areas here. We've looked into one for our pasture across the road but at $3500, it is much more expensive than a pump and paying the electric bill every month. It would take about ten years to pay for itself... :waa: which is sad because I really would like to depend less on the electric company. If only the electric company weren't so much more affordable.