solar or wood fired water heater?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by windmillacres, Dec 30, 2005.

  1. windmillacres

    windmillacres Member

    Aug 18, 2005
    East Central Iowa
    What is a solar water heater? and have any of you used or know anything about those HeatPro wood fired water heaters? we possibly could get truckloads of free kindling. we already heat house with wood.
    Question #2 can you hook up wind power to produce electricity from an Aeromotor windmill? Its kinda far from the house though. about 100-150 feet. its refurbished . we are on the grid at $185 per month from electric co=op so we must use alot. thanks in advance for your knowledge...........Kat :D
  2. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 13, 2004
    Sounds like you need to Google "solar water heater" and do a little research. Basically, solar water heaters are devices that use the sun's energy to directly produce hot water, either using a tank in a glazed insulated box (batch type heater) to heat a quantity of water, or to circulate water through some type of thinner collector in a shallow insulated box.

    Generating electricity with an water-pumping windmill--yes, it can be done, but not efficiently or cost effectively. It is designed to provide good starting torque to get water moving in the pump cylinder from a dead stop, and running a generator/alternator has a different set of requirements. If you want cost effective windpowered electricity, buy a good proven commercial wind generator, otherwise figure on spending lots of time and money experimenting to re-invent the wheel. It is possible to make an effective useful home-built wind-generator, but if is for the die-hard do-it-yourselfer.

    Sounds also like you need to work on reducing your electrical power use.

  3. Janon

    Janon 993cc Geo Metro

    Aug 25, 2002
    Southern Ontario CANADA
    Since you're already on the grid, spending time/money/effort on reducing your current energy use (eg. extra/proper insulation, energy efficient lighting, energy efficient washing machine, etc.) will go much further than spending money trying to create your own electricity.

    Alternative energies like solar or wind power are extremely expensive, complicated and produce very little usable power when compared to grid electricity.

  4. perennial

    perennial Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2004
    We are installing a geo-thermal heat system in our new house that will heat the house and also our hot water during the warm months for free. It's an investment though that will take some years to pay off. It will cost us about $1 day to run heat or ac for house. Then, we will have a woodstove insert for backup in case of power failure.