Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Old Mill

Old Mill for the 21st Century
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I am restoring an antique power windmill. It produces rotary motion and was used to power farm equipment. It was built in 1904 and it is a sectional wheel type where the sections that make up the wind wheel fold in and out like a flower to control the speed of the mill. The wind wheel is 16 feet in diameter and in a nine mph wind it produces 5 1/2 horse. It is being restore to be as historically acurate as possible and will eventually be placed in a museum.

The goal now is to recreate a 21st Century version that is almost maintenance free that can produce electric power. Some people will disagree, but I think that those 3 bladed mills look out of place next to a house. Looks are very important to some people. The three bladed mills are very efficient though.

I have found a fellow who will redesign it for me with updated bearings and gears but the idea is to keep the windmill as simple as possible so it will last.

The windmill is also part wood. The wind wheel and the tail are wood. I think they will remain wood. I could make them out of plastic, but if they are made out of wood then after I am dead and buried the windmill could still be repaired by any skilled wood worker.

I did not like the idea of using batteries for energy storage. I noticed some other posts about storing compressed air under ground. Has anyone actually done this on a small scale?

Any comments on the use of a Tesla Turbine to run the generator?

Now you know how I got my account name.

windmillnut, Jul 18 2004


       the amount of storage required I think would require a prohibitively large tank or incredible pressure (I've been working on going off the grid on my farm for a while) I think your best bet for none battery storage would be cryogenics. use the mill to power a stirling cryocooler and store liquid air at ambient pressure. to reclaim the energy run the liquid air on the "cold" side of a stirling engine to heat it back to ambient temp thus causing it to revert to a gas and have an expansion ratio (if I recal offhand correctly) of approx. 820/1 extremely significant enough to power a turbine or for that matter an equivelant of a steam engine at what ever pressure you want just meter in the liquid. But that's just my opinion
59thunder, Jan 03 2009

       Blimey - this poor guy had to wait five years for an answer. I hope he found one.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 03 2009

       //I think they will remain wood// perhaps he's waiting to see if the wood will actually change into some other material - like dried seaweed, or strips of stainless steel with lumpy green nodules running along the edges..... I'd call this a good long wait. Your patience will be rewarded [windmillnut] - just keep watching that wood.
xenzag, Jan 04 2009


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