How do you go about finding how windy an area is???

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by oz in SC, Jun 8, 2005.

  1. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering how those interested in windpower go about finding out if an area is suitable...

    I have the romantic idea of a windmill on our future place to pump water from the creek....

    Of course no idea if there is enough wind to do that. :D
     
  2. Laura

    Laura Well-Known Member

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    Are your trees bent by the prevailing wind?
     

  3. woodsrunner

    woodsrunner Well-Known Member

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  4. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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  5. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    Thanks all.The land is in western NC but still doesn't look too promising...

    The windmill site I was at stated there refurbished Aeromotor windmills can pump water with just 3mph winds...now of course they are trying to sell a windmill so I wonder what REALLY is needed..
     
  6. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    I was told my area of Alabama wasnt suitable as well. I came across an old style windmill just a couple miles away out on an old homestead. It was all metal with the large round fanblade with about a dozen or so "blades" I guess youd call them. I asked the owner about it and he said it was there when he moved in fifteen years ago. Never been serviced. Never greased at the bearing etc. I have seen it rotating about 80 percent of the time. So I am thinking a new high tech one out of extremely light materials like even the cheapest ones made today has to perform better. Especially a smaller one. I thought that I might get one to suppliment solar panels with.
     
  7. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    IF it will work for you it seems like a good idea,especially if you use it to pump water or the like...
     
  8. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In an area with low average winds, you may get by with sizing your cistern large enough so that it only needs to be filled when you get your rare strong winds. My method has always been to try it and see, but I have been luck to have found cheap used usable windmills, wind generators, towers, etc., installed them myself, and then found out if they worked or not, and been able to take them down and sell without loosing any money if I needed to--so far I haven't needed to, but I have less money invested in some of the stuff than it is currently worth. Otherwise, most companies that sell and install windgenerators and windmills should have windmeasuring equipment that you could buy/lease/rent and install for a few months or more to see what your winds are really doing.

    Jim
     
  9. ponyexpress

    ponyexpress Well-Known Member

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    A couple mos. ago NC state was offering the use of wind speed measuring equipment to people who would participate in a study they were doing. I read about it in the Ag Review. You might do a google on it and see if you can find out particulars.
    Anne
     
  10. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you install a windmill--I am sure it will pump some water, but there is no way to say how much a year. There is alot of times that there is not going to be enough wind to make it turn, but when it does it will be Cool, So I Say GO FOR IT---Don't spend a fortune(Hurricane's like windmills) and Don't count on it as your only pump source. Randy
     
  11. MTNwomanAR

    MTNwomanAR Well-Known Member

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    Oz, here are a couple of websites that have tons of very useful info. One is www.eren.doe.gov/erec/factsheets/wind.html The other one is www.awea.org/smallwind.html
    The second one has a lot of good information. Hope these help. I myself have been researching this for over 10 years now, and am sure that I'm going to go with at least some type of wind genny....I get way more consistent wind than sun....... one advantage to being at a higher elevation... :)just gotta get the place paid for, then work on it. Another good place to look is Home power magazine. I believe they also have a website, just not sure what it is.......
     
  12. pcwerk

    pcwerk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Oz,
    In the new (June/July) issue of Mother Earth News on pg. 80B there is a
    map of avg. US wind power (along with an article on pg. 48B on "Harnessing
    the Wind". You are in a Class 1 area with avg. winds of 0-9.8 mph. The
    article suggests you should live in at least a Class 3 area with avg. winds of
    11.5-12.5 mph for wind power to be viable. Fortunately (or unfortunately?) for me we just got a place in SE Minnesota that is in a Class 3 area. I had already thought of wind power since two weeks ago when I was there the wind
    was blowing constantly with gusts of at least 20 mph daily (it seemed
    so to me) but I don't want to distroy the silence of the place with one of
    those noisy turbines, and I have heard that all of 'em make some kind of
    noise. [I have never been in a place so quiet! Not even on a flight path for
    any airlines that I could see/hear!] The bad part of it is that I don't know how the garden we just planted is going to stay intact! Guess we'll have to plant
    corn like everybody else...
    James in Houston,TX (soon will be Houston,MN for good)

    ps
    Does your creek flow fairly fast? A few months back MEN also had an article
    on generating power from a flowing creek. If your interested (or anyone else)
    let me know and I will dig it up and let you know the issue.
     
  13. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    Can you look and see how western NC stacks up as far as windpower?
    It would be near-ish to Asheville if that helps.

    I would be interested in learning more about water power as well...just KNOWING stuff is good to me-never know when it will come in handy.
     
  14. pcwerk

    pcwerk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Oz,
    Now your talking winds in that area. Looks like that whole region of
    western NC is in Class 3, 4, and 5 winds. Hard to see accurately with
    this map since cities and towns are not designated, but looks like you
    would plenty wind in that area to generate power. As far as the article
    on hydropower, I am not sure but I believe it was in the April/May issue.
    I didn't read it but from skimming it seemed pretty detailed with the main
    point being that you needed a pretty fast flowing waterpath to do much
    good. If I find the article I will post with more accurate info. Hope this
    helps!
    james
     
  15. wy0mn

    wy0mn Transplanted RedNeck

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    Maybe ya wanna go solar, they do make solar powered water pumps.
    Seriously, for the vast portion of the US, a hybred system is best. A marriage of the two if you like.
     
  16. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    With a moniker like "Windy in Kansas" you know darned good and well that I will have an opinion on windmills.

    To start off with I use the terms windmill as a wind driven machine that pumps water. Wind generators or wind chargers are machines that make electricity (not wind). While windmill is an acceptable term for a machine that does make electricity, it doesn't fly with me. A mill converts mechanical power, not generates power in a different form.

    I grew up in western Kansas where the majority of windmills were Aermotor brand.
    At that time little water was pumped other than by windmills. We had two Aermotor windmills on different wells, one pumping from 75' deep and the other pumping from 85' deep with 2½" well cylinders. One remains in place today, the other was replaced by submersible pump.

    For lower wind areas simply use taller mill towers and or larger diameter fan wheels. Ours were both 6' diameter wheels. I think our towers were 30' units. When Aermotor says that 3 mph winds will provide pumping I would certainly believe them. A windmill will pump when you don't even feel a breeze at ground level.

    This first url gives charts to size mills. The second just a neat photo of an old Aermotor in an early setting.
    http://www.dobbswindmillservice.com/
    http://www.windmillersgazette.com/images/photo03.jpg

    One last thing---be sure to anchor a windmill tower well. A few people haven't and have learned that windmills can be blown over in strong winds. Ours were anchored and never flinched.
     
  17. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    Well I found someone in NC selling an 8' aeromotor windmill with a new 40' tower for $2600....

    It would be VERY cool to have....

    There are of course SO many cool things to get.LOL.
     
  18. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

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    The us geologic surveys are not necessarily correct, there was some political motivation behind their "findings". Our farm would be good for wind power if I could find a reasonably priced system, (meaning the cost of the system and upkeep over the life of the system is significantly less than the local electric company, since there is a convienience factor in having the electric company do all the maintenence) but the "survey says" this is a poor area. The local topograghy might make a particular site here or there good, when the region is poor. If you elevation is higher than most of the surrounding region that will generally increase the likelihood that your homestead will work out. Of course if all the trees branches point in a particular direction, get a pair of goggles to go with your windmill