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Wind Generators- pros & cons

tcmtech

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Thread starter #21
Now you guys are making me want to get my new used oil burner boiler project finished so I can heat my small work shed and get that finished off so I have a heated place to work in this winter.
The plan is to set it up as dedicated electronics/electrical and machining shop since those projects don't need the floor space of the main shop.

I got this old 14' x 20' granary building last year intrade for labor on moving a much larger 24' x 32' pole barn for my dad from an old farmstead about 50 miles from here.

DCP02697.JPG

That's the building on the left and this was the day I poured the slab for it last year. It's set up for floor heat and I even put air conditioning in it last year while I was redoing the inside of the old building. :D

I was too busy this summer to get back to it so it got stuffed full of junk but now I need to clean it out so I can epoxy seal the floor and build benches and storage shelves.
 

tcmtech

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It looks like Cutie on the left and Mr Squeak on the right.

Mr squeak is the quality control officer around here. Very little I do doesn't get his full going over at some point. :p
 

spec

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#24
It looks like Cutie on the left and Mr Squeak on the right.

Mr squeak is the quality control officer around here. Very little I do doesn't get his full going over at some point. :p
:joyful::joyful::joyful:

We used to have a visiting cat called Wolfie by the kids, he was the same. If I had the bonnet (hood) up on the car (automobile) his favorite supervising position was on the engine (motor) camshaft cover.

And if you were having a conversation he would join in with the occasional mee-ow:)

He would also correct spelling and grammar if I was writing or typing on the PC keyboard.

spec
 
Last edited:

JimB

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#25
Very little I do doesn't get his full going over at some point.
I suppose that he is just doing a "CAT Scan"

The old jokes are always the best ones!

JimB
 

tcmtech

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Thread starter #27
Yea there were kitty prints on it by morning but they were only on the edge so the walls covered them. For everything Mr Squeak inspects I would expect him to be way smarter than he is. :rolleyes:

We used to have a visiting cat called Wolfie by the kids, he was the same. If I had the bonnet (hood) up on the car (automobile) his favorite supervising position was on the engine (motor) camshaft cover.

And if you were having a conversation he would join in with the occasional mee-ow:)

He would also correct spelling and grammar if I was writing or typing on the PC keyboard.
I have another one I named Oprah because she is black with long hair and has an opinion about everything. :p

Here's the wind generator tower I put up a few months ago. It was originally a ~25' one so I welded a heavy steel plate on the bottom and buried the bottom ~5 feet rather than concreting it in so if I ever decide to move it I can just dig it up with my backhoe.
100_4066.JPG

From the view of the work shed concrete it would be right behind the light pole about 80 feet.

I've been thinking about getting the old 1000 watt Parris Dunn out and going through it and putting on the tower being that it's guy wired and quite stable.
Or maybe just use the body and tilting mechanisms but with a modern multi KW PM servo motor I have as the generator.

The start of the mini boiler for the shed and house heat.

100_4070.JPG

It's all 3/16" and 1/4" alloy steel plate (tough as hell to drill holes in or saw cut) and when done hold around 85 gallons of water and weigh ~ 1000 pounds. :cool:
 

spec

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#29
RE post #27, I am a bit gobsmacked TCM.

That is very impressive work.

The tower should hold a serious wind generator.

Have you thought about getting an aircraft propeller from an aircraft graveyard. If you can get a variable pitch version with feathering 'all' you would need to do would be to duplicate the hydraulic system to control the blade pitch and then do the electronics to measure the wind speed and control the pitch accordingly.

You may even be able to use the aircraft main reduction gear bearing as the main bearing for your wind turbine.

Of course, all these suggestions are from someone with no experience in this area whatsoever.

spec
 

tcmtech

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No issue with chatty threads here either. :D

The problem with aircraft propellers is that they are cut as a mirror image of a wind generator propeller so they make wind efficiently not catch it efficiently.

The buddy of mine that has the big salvage yard has some huge 6 - 8' dia cooling tower fans that basically use a blade design that is the same as a basic aircraft propeller and they are on manually adjustable pitch hubs as well. Initially they look like they could be made into great wind generator rotors but they are not.

The problem is no matter what way you turn the blades there is no way to correctly line up their full length airfoil to catch wind as effectively as they make it.

I think that with a very basic straight cut airfoil design like a wing it would work but I have not seen any aircraft props made that way.
 

spec

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#31
No issue with chatty threads here either. :D

The problem with aircraft propellers is that they are cut as a mirror image of a wind generator propeller so they make wind efficiently not catch it efficiently.

The buddy of mine that has the big salvage yard has some huge 6 - 8' dia cooling tower fans that basically use a blade design that is the same as a basic aircraft propeller and they are on manually adjustable pitch hubs as well. Initially they look like they could be made into great wind generator rotors but they are not.

The problem is no matter what way you turn the blades there is no way to correctly line up their full length airfoil to catch wind as effectively as they make it.

I think that with a very basic straight cut airfoil design like a wing it would work but I have not seen any aircraft props made that way.
Ah, I see.

There is quite a bit to propeller design. When the Wright brothers made it into the air, their big edge was painstaking aerofoil calculations for wings and propellers and measurement/testing and the use of an unstable platform which not only gave good lift but also controllability. Unbelievably, their aerofoil work demonstrated that the official aerofoil calculations and sections were wrong.

From what you have said, I am starting to see why the vertical turbine has been so favored by home constructors.

spec
 

cowboybob

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#32
TCM, you've a workshop after my own heart. And the scattering of various trades, as well, I see.

Only difference is that mine is only a one bay garage, with a car in it (a '74 Vette I restored, which I have to park "just so" to allow at least one door to open wide enough for me to get in or out :arghh:). I tend to fill what space I have with leftover project pieces/parts that I convince myself will "surely" be useful for something, someday.

My wife's solution is to get rid of the Vette! You can well imagine my response to that...

What sort of winds do you get in ND (I've got a grandson recently stationed east of you over at Grand Forks AFB)? Of course, we get hurricanes here, infrequently to be sure, but even still that makes any sort of wind capture device installation pretty iffy.
 

shortbus=

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#33
My main interest is home-built horizontal turbines
This would be my way of attacking this if younger. Too old and to many already started projects. My thoughts were a "squirrel cage" type blade mounted on the roof ridge point. This way when wind was blowing from any direction it would follow the roof surfaces and then move the horizontal squirrel cage making it spin.

Either that or a Savonius like cowboy was talking about mounted the same way. But like I said, too old too little time.
 

tcmtech

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Thread starter #34
TCM, you've a workshop after my own heart. And the scattering of various trades, as well, I see.

Only difference is that mine is only a one bay garage, with a car in it (a '74 Vette I restored, which I have to park "just so" to allow at least one door to open wide enough for me to get in or out :arghh:). I tend to fill what space I have with leftover project pieces/parts that I convince myself will "surely" be useful for something, someday.

My wife's solution is to get rid of the Vette! You can well imagine my response to that...

What sort of winds do you get in ND (I've got a grandson recently stationed east of you over at Grand Forks AFB)? Of course, we get hurricanes here, infrequently to be sure, but even still that makes any sort of wind capture device installation pretty iffy.
Well my shop is barely a one bay one a good day as well. :p I'd clean and organize it but every time I do that I end up wasting way more time and money trying to find then giving up and just buying a new whatever it is I am looking for than what the appearance of having a neat clean looking shop has for value to me. :mad:
 

spec

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#35
TCM, you've a workshop after my own heart. And the scattering of various trades, as well, I see.

Only difference is that mine is only a one bay garage, with a car in it (a '74 Vette I restored, which I have to park "just so" to allow at least one door to open wide enough for me to get in or out :arghh:). I tend to fill what space I have with leftover project pieces/parts that I convince myself will "surely" be useful for something, someday.

My wife's solution is to get rid of the Vette! You can well imagine my response to that...
This is a common dilemma: chuck or keep, CBB. Get rid of the Vette: women live in a different world.:grumpy:

What sort of winds do you get in ND (I've got a grandson recently stationed east of you over at Grand Forks AFB)? Of course, we get hurricanes here, infrequently to be sure, but even still that makes any sort of wind capture device installation pretty iffy.
Yes, that is the crux of the matter- just one adverse weather event could wreck a wind turbine.

All the same I have an unqualified feeling that there must be a way to protect a turbine.

In view of the destructive power of hurricanes, tornadoes, etc how do the existing wind turbines, both vertical and horizontal, survive?

spec
 

bryan1

Well-Known Member
#36
That 2hp motor conversion I made over 7 years ago came down a few months ago for a bearing change then back up producing more power, same 3 metres blades a little worse for wear but they will last a few more years. It had been in wild wind storms quite a few times too where trees not far away have blown over and just chews the wind topping the amp gauge.
 

spec

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#37
This would be my way of attacking this if younger. Too old and to many already started projects. My thoughts were a "squirrel cage" type blade mounted on the roof ridge point. This way when wind was blowing from any direction it would follow the roof surfaces and then move the horizontal squirrel cage making it spin.

Either that or a Savonius like cowboy was talking about mounted the same way. But like I said, too old too little time.
Hi SB,

I abandoned the idea of making most projects a long time ago after doing the acid test of figuring out how long they would all take.:)

A squirrel cage turbine sounds interesting. Is that an existing type of wind turbine or is it an idea you have thought up?

spec
 

spec

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Most Helpful Member
#38
That 2hp motor conversion I made over 7 years ago came down a few months ago for a bearing change then back up producing more power, same 3 metres blades a little worse for wear but they will last a few more years. It had been in wild wind storms quite a few times too where trees not far away have blown over and just chews the wind topping the amp gauge.
Hi Bryan,

sounds like a good wind turbine- is it your design or is it an established design. Any chance of some more details- perhaps a picture?

spec
 

shortbus=

Well-Known Member
#40
I'd clean and organize it but every time I do that I end up wasting way more time and money trying to find then giving up and just buying a new whatever it is I am looking for than what the appearance of having a neat clean looking shop has for value to me. :mad:
That sounds like my philosophy. The quickest way to find what you know you have but can't find, is to buy a new one.
 

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