Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Wind Driven Heating Piston

Use windmill similar to water pump to make heat
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Household heating via wind power on the cheap.

Wind turbine rotation is geared down and converted to reciprocating motion to drive a tall piston. Piston the wind turbine's tower. The piston is mounted with bottom foot or so in the house and given a radiator or fins.

The piston drives up and down as wind blows on the turbine. The bottom half is sealed and contains some refrigerant (?water, air, r410?). Where a heat pump moves the refrigerant, idea changes the volume of the container.

Up cycle: low pressure refrigerant is exposed to the tall, outdoors piston and gains heat. Possibly evaporates to gain more heat. Some heat gained from inside house; could add mechanism to prevent.

Down cycle: high pressure refrigerant is forced into the bottom of the piston, inside the house. Fins or radiator conduct the heat indoors.

See link-- an image.

Inspired from looking at 'free energy' open (extracted from environment) devices and heat pumps.

Normally wind power is converted to electricity to run a heat pump that includes coils in the ground, refrigerant, and a compressor. Perhaps the compressor could be run directly to avoid the electricity intermediate step or technology like Japan's latest research in heat pumps will make the solution much more efficient. Here I'm baking an idea for 90% of the benefit with 10% of the cost.

Low cost: no electronics, no generator or pump, no coils in the ground or copper wiring.

Bcrosby, Sep 11 2008

Image http://www.oakenelevations.com/half.JPG
Shows mounting on house and 'up', 'down' piston [Bcrosby, Sep 11 2008]

[link]






       a generator would be far simpler, easier to maintain, self regulating and the output could be easily sent wherever it is needed. Since heat is what we want the generator can be incredibly crude acting as a heater on its own while a second set of crude elements heat other parts of the house. I don't think your system would work effectively.
WcW, Sep 11 2008
  

       Yes, for example, some people suggest a 12V DC generator or some other strange and unregulated power.   

       The Friction oven suggests using friction, not a heat pump, to obtain heat. Here I try to have no friction.
Bcrosby, Sep 11 2008
  

       no friction? You will have plenty of friction. You will also have seals and leaks and such. My concern however is that you will have a system that does a poor job of capturing wind energy and converting it into heat. A generator that used permanent magnets and operated at constant load rather than constant voltage or used a load/speed curve that matched the prop could be very efficient. You would need to store the heat in a thermal mass of some sort as wind and cold are not directly related.
WcW, Sep 11 2008
  

       hmm... mebbe have it as the last (outside) stage of a heat-exchanger: get warmth from the outgoing air which then exits at ambient (or less).
FlyingToaster, Sep 11 2008
  

       your right about heat pumps being crap. using an air cooler to heat air is a bad way of doing things. However if the energy is free why not attach your idea to a heat pump. This could heat and cool and would contain similar mechanisms. But then why not simply build a windmill in a wind optimum location?
WcW, Sep 11 2008
  

       Ever since I've been 17 I have been talking about this, which is much better than solar heaters, because in the winter when there is wind and its cold, that's when you want your hot shower.   

       It should be a simple thing to take an old fan (nothing has to be extremely efficient here) and have it turn a flywheel that has some friction. The flywheel would be inside the hot water so any "heat loss" is gained.
pashute, Apr 14 2010
  

       link gone since 2008... :-(
pashute, Apr 14 2010
  

       Bcrosby's idea sounds almost like a beta Stirling engine / heat pump, except without the displacer or recuperator.
goldbb, Apr 14 2010
  
      
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