Any opinions or information on wind machines as a power source.

@thea09 (18324)
Greece
September 23, 2009 8:09am CST
I would like opinions, information, hearsay, anything really, on wind machines as a power source. There are none at all in this area and I have a friend who is thinking of investing in them as an energy source for his village. I'd love to hear from those who use them, know about them, have opinions about them, or information about them.
4 people like this
13 responses
@tdemex (3547)
• United States
23 Sep 09
I've done a lot of construction projects in my long career on this planet! I've been involved in green building way before it became fashionable. Mother Earth News is a great source of information and I subscribed to this mag. 25 years ago! I worked in Sun Valley Idaho in the mountains for very rich people building active and passive solar homes for over 15 years! Unfortunately I wasn't involved in wind projects! But the concept using solar panels is the same, you just need to do a study or get the info on-line for the benefits in your area, as far as wind days goes! But the real deal is what do you do with the energy you create? The energy is usually 12 volts and there are a few things you can do with it, use it while it's working, which is not normal. Give it back to the power company for credits on what you use! This is becoming more popular if this program is available in your area, and there is a reason for this. Most people store the energy for future use. this requires batteries, and the real expense starts here! If your a heavy user you need to store a lot of energy. Batteries are very expensive and the costs are not going down. the costs for the wind generators has dropped a lot in recent years. because of demand, but batteries use more metals and are staying stable. So you store the energy! The batteries generate a poisonous gas when they are being charged! So they need a separate area to contain them! Costs! then you need items or things that will run on 12 volts or you can covert it to 24 volts, which most people do! Most items are used in recreational Vehicles, they are 24 volt and expensive! Running separate wires in your home for the new 24 or 12 volt system is also a big expense. you have to have protection on your system to be sure you don't over charge the batteries, and you want to have clean power cumming out of your system! these electronic components are also expensive. the list goes on and on ... I have other posts here on mylot on this subject! But as you see it's not as simple as people think! tdemex
3 people like this
@thea09 (18324)
• Greece
23 Sep 09
All useful stuff td but bear in mind I'm not terribly technical. It was only spoken of briefly the other morning but he was talking about installing about ten on a piece of high hilly land, which is a good few miles above sea level. Just tell me if I've got this right then. Have windmill things installed. Battery back up goes with the windmills or somewhere else? Then wires run to the houses. Is that how it works in simplistic terms? So then currnent electrical supply can be turned off. So would the wind power provider generally supply all the wires to get it to the house? Anyway I'd rather like to know what all this involves for when its raised again. I'm not aware of anything like this in this part of Greece so rather think the idea must be from experience in other countries, and he's in the right sort of business to get good prices on what's needed. Most of the village will already be on solar for hot water but not electric, the electric is now the most costly in Europe and getting very unreliable.
2 people like this
@tdemex (3547)
• United States
23 Sep 09
Well there is a big difference between a commercial project and one for the home! A commercial project would use lines like they have on the poles around town. In that case they have to mess with the power being generated because it loses steam (or Power) over a long run of many miles, they have to bump it up to 480 volts to travel long distances! then they would tap that into the existing power supply! On the home front it's more complicated because it's a self contained system and there's more to it! T----
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@thea09 (18324)
• Greece
23 Sep 09
All getting a bit technical now td, I should have included the question 'are they noisy', I don't want them keeping me awake all night when I'm up there.
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@jillhill (37383)
• United States
23 Sep 09
Where I live there are tons of them.....we call them wind farms.....well they put a windmill on a farm and rent the land etc from the farmer and they make big bucks from it.....and it's a cheap source of energy....renewable....clean....good for the enviroment....so I say go for it!
3 people like this
@thea09 (18324)
• Greece
23 Sep 09
Thanks jillhill, all positive things to say about them. The land is already owned by the person who is thinking of installing them, the making money part would be good, I suppose that's if the locals there could be persuaded to use it as a source of energy,
1 person likes this
@jb78000 (15173)
23 Sep 09
got lots here. think they pay for themselves fairly quickly. only problem is dim-witted protesters complaining about them ruining the view. let global warming carry on and you're going to have a view of fishies people.
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@thea09 (18324)
• Greece
23 Sep 09
Hi jb, well they'd be pretty high up and the views are in front, don't think we have that sort of protester over here in the first place but there might be a lot of distrusting local skeptics not too easily persuaded to sign up to use them, unless they get a bad winter with power cuts first. View of fishies people, you've lost me again, you mean the people living by the sea will be in it??
2 people like this
@sunny68 (1327)
• India
23 Sep 09
i don't know much about wind mills but i have heard that it is considered as a suitable alternative. i would also depend on the requirement, if you have a heavy load you will require bigger units and that can be expensive. initial investment can be on the higher side but once installed there might not be much recurring expenses. also that it is dependent on the wind, no wind - no power. perhaps this is why they are more popular along the coast-line. solar energy is another option which also has the benefit of having a modular design (you can add more solar panels whenever required) however the batteries are expensive and a recurring cost (batteries last for 3 to 4 years). solar power is generally good for lighting purpose only (mostly with LED lamps). if you have a stream nearby you can also consider a water mill, water flowing in the stream is more reliable that wind. much depends on your actual requirements.
2 people like this
@thea09 (18324)
• Greece
23 Sep 09
Hi Sunny I'll just be brief here as I'm only after general information. We already have solar here for hot water. The place where they would go is well above sea level and quite near the coast, and it does get windy up there as a lot higher up than the area I live in, where I am we don't have summer winds, just strong winter gales. td's given a lot of info. Thanks though sunny.
@sunny68 (1327)
• India
24 Sep 09
you are welcome...
1 person likes this
@stvasile (7317)
• Romania
23 Sep 09
I didn't have anything to do with aeolian power sources, but I have a friend, former member of Greenpeace Romania, who at one time had something to do with a project, where an organization tried to set up an aeolian generator field in the area next to the sea, one of the few areas in the country with enough wind all year long to support such an initiative. I don't know what happened to the project, but I remember him telling me about the regulations at one time. He said these "windmills" are somewhat dangerous to the birds, and that was a problem because one of the birds in that area was an endangered species. Not to mention the field was on the birds' way to the Danube Delta Biosphere Reservation... I really don't know if, except of some isolated installations, there are areas covered with such aeolian generators.
2 people like this
@thea09 (18324)
• Greece
23 Sep 09
Hi stvasile, you well know by now that you are speaking to a technophobe. So I didn't know that a windmill was an aeolian power source though of course aearas is the word for wind. I don't think there are any endangered species around the area though there were lots of tiny swallows flying around at the weekend, it wouldn't be very nice if they got trapped in windmills but I wouldn't cry if any bats did. Maybe it's not near enough to the sea as that seems to be a common point here, but then again it's a lot nearer to the sea as the crow flies than it is by mountain roads. I presume the idea of this came from somewhere he's seen them abroad so will be gathering more info next time I'm up there but if it does go ahead I will keep you up to date.
@Tantrums (949)
• Philippines
23 Sep 09
As long that your area is very windy... Then why not have one? Aside from they're low maintenance and free, it's environmentally friendly too! Maybe the downfall for this is the price of installation or the costs for buying a windmill... Just like buying some solar panels as well...
2 people like this
@thea09 (18324)
• Greece
23 Sep 09
Hi tantrums, well the area isn't that local to me but is a lot windier up there with being higher. I don't understand what you been by saying they are free, I thought they were pricey, the windmill things I mean. Everyone has solar already but usually just for water not as an electrical supply. Do you know if they are noisy at all?
2 people like this
• India
24 Sep 09
Hi, thea. After terrible loads of projects and publishing work from my teachers, i have come back to have a little involvement in some good discussions out here. And when it comes to goodness out here, i start with you. So, i noticed this discussion of yours. Although, i am involved mostly in computers or modern physics research, i think i can at least say some words of appreciation for the good work from your friend and about your concern in the matter - "Keep it up". For wind machines, the very first requirement is ample wind and height. Second is the technical expertise to exploit most from the wind, the aerodynamics point of view. If the wind in your area is turbulent also, i.e. it changes directions regularly, your friend will need certain optimizations ,maybe a horizontal one (space inefficient) or an adaptive one (needs high mobility).Also, the weather effects may degrade it in a few weeks (needs proper coating and protection).However, Your friend maybe well aware of these technical things already. I am just an innocent person in the field. It is always good to have alternative sources of energy in this period of energy crisis. Geothermal, solar and the daily vibrations from our feet are also ample sources of non-conventional energy. Happy Mylotting!!
@thea09 (18324)
• Greece
24 Sep 09
Hi ashu, I noticed that you'd returned and gone, hope the studies are progressing well at that fine university you attend. Thank you so much for your lovely opening remarks. I am just a lay observer to all this and I'm sure my friend has done lots of research but it would be nice to know the ins and outs when he talks about it as it's something I know nothing about. We have solar here already but it's just for hot water and couldn't be relied upon for all year round electricity. You've intrigued me though with the notion of feet creating power, if I jumped up and down for a number of hours a day could that provide all my energy needs? I expect I'd have to be hooked up to something whilst I did it. I've noted all your technical bits by the way but should stress that I believe this would be considered as a profitable rather than altruistic project which I would imagine he might have a bit of difficulty persuading his locals to go along with, unless there's a severe power cut which then convinces them.
1 person likes this
• India
24 Sep 09
hmmm... Sorry for the lack of activity i have shown here in recent times.. but, you know..the college times are the busy ones. Thanks for your comments. Well, the idea of feet giving power is just a tiny bit of the whole world of possibilities, that we cann`t even imagine. Along with this, scientists have been exploring the possibilities of converting human surface energy (that we radiate through skin)to charge cellphones etc., power transfer over electromagnetic waves etc. The world is full of wonders, hmmm... Happy Mylotting!!
@thea09 (18324)
• Greece
24 Sep 09
Ashu there is no need to apologise for studying, there is life outside mylot you know. I must say your ideas seem a little futuristic and I think I'd be quite happy to give up my mobile phone rather than charge it up from the energy of my body.
• India
24 Sep 09
Hi thea09, In Bangalore we haven't seen any of the wind mills or machines but in hill stations i have seen a lot on western ghats. Its a pretty good idea to install these, Because they can generate good amount of electricity an d the whole village can depend upon these wind mills for power neither depending upon the government to provide it.
1 person likes this
@thea09 (18324)
• Greece
24 Sep 09
Hi ajayrocks, I'm going to presume the words ghats is your term for these windmill type things, never heard it before. It appears from these responses that many countries are using them now so they must be more cost effective and quite workable as an alternative to electricity. Thanks for commenting here.
• India
24 Sep 09
Hi, Ghats means hills stations or mountains. If you install your wind mills on these mountains or hilly region then yopu can generate a lrrge amount of electricity because of the wind blown there.
@thea09 (18324)
• Greece
24 Sep 09
Thanks for explaining the ghats.
@ShepherdSpy (8562)
• Omagh, Northern Ireland
24 Sep 09
There's various companies involved in setting up "Wind Farms" on high ground near where I Live,Thea..as all you'd get up there otherwise would be determined hillwalkers and sheep,I think they're a good idea and use of the otherwise unusable bogland,and I like the sight of these rotating blades spinning in the breeze..I'd love to get close up to one of them to check it out,but the closest ones are on what's regarded as private Land...I saw a sign on an access road once, pointing to a Wind Farm,and drove up there,but some Engineer type Guys in hard hats told Me the site wasn't open to the Public,and turned me around.. There's several means of using renewable energy for Power,but they can be expensive to set up...For a place with sea access,wave power generators seem a good Idea,but most haven't developed beyond prototype stage..I like Solar power too.. Here's a link to a bunch of local "farms" in this area.. http://www.yes2wind.com/nonflash_region.php?Region=Co.+Tyrone+and+Fermanagh
@thea09 (18324)
• Greece
24 Sep 09
Hi ShepherdSpy, well the only things likely to be rambling on this piece of high ground would be olive pickers and goats, it's not even in a place that the odd tourist could get lost inThe windmills would be on private land but there aren't any real boundaries, those are marked over here by knowing which olive tree belongs to someone and I rather think that the addition of walls as boundaries has been an introduction to Greece by the British ex pats. They managed fine without them before. But that is a definite point that I will advise him to take into consideration, the possible necessity of employing men in hard hats to shoo goats away. Actually I have noted your points with seriousness - sea access puzzles me as although in sight it's not exactly on the doorstep but rather down mountain a bit.
• Omagh, Northern Ireland
24 Sep 09
what I meant by sea access..if you have a coastline,you can use wave generators to make power too..
@pergammano (7755)
• Canada
24 Sep 09
Dear thea, I have "no" techno knowledge about wind machines, but do know in Canada they have been in place in Alberta for a few years. Now, we are introducing them into B.C., and one of our second most popular ski resorts (Grouse Mountain, which is just on the outskirts of Vancouver) this fall will be totally powered by wind-machines, and they seem optimistic, as they tower & blades are on top of the mountain....but the down side is, there are a number of groups, complaining about the destruction of birds flying into the blades...! I would think they would welcome anything, that doesn't leave a huge carbon footprint (which power plants do)and destroy the air these birds fly in! I think there is several in use in the province of Ontario, too! Good luck on your research, thea!
1 person likes this
@thea09 (18324)
• Greece
24 Sep 09
Hi shirley, it's intreresting that Canadians are now considering their usage on a wide scale. Stvasile already brought up the issues they had in Romania with the bird protectionists there, but I don't think there are any of note in that area and the Greeks aren't really into any sort of animal protection. I think the plan is being thought of for profit rather than to save the envrionment from power stations, plus it might be handy when all the power cuts start. Thanks for the information my dear.
• Indonesia
24 Sep 09
I think Dutch use that machine. They use a lot of propeller, that propeller rotating because wind blowing to that propeller. So, kinetic power from rotating propeller transform to electrical power. Try find in wikipeda about details process
@thea09 (18324)
• Greece
24 Sep 09
Hi masteronline, thanks for what you know but think that bits covered. I didn't research this as just wanted a general overview of opinions about these windmill for power things but thanks.
@malpoa (1218)
• India
23 Sep 09
Thea, it all depend son the area he plans to erect it. Unless the place is windy, there is no point in investing in it...If he is keen in utilising free energy available to get it converted for home needs, he can try on solar power... I am sure that place is enough sunny for this. And comparatively, this is cheaper too, and you just need to place the panels on the terrace...
1 person likes this
@thea09 (18324)
• Greece
23 Sep 09
Hi Malpoa, everyones suggesting solar, we already have it but just for hot water. Last winter was so bad that it didn't work for weeks and weeks so it wouldn't do as a full electric source. Thanks though my dear.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
23 Sep 09
hi thea I know there are windmachines further up the state of Ca probably in northern california as that is where all the produce that goes almost all over the US is grown so they really need cheaper sources of electricity. I dont have any info on them but I hear it said that they do provide a cheaper source of power. I imagine one'could find a lot of information by googling for info on wind machines. I know I have seen fields of them further up the coast. sorry I dont have any real info myselg. I think it would be a great 'source of electricity and probably a lot cheaper too.
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@thea09 (18324)
• Greece
23 Sep 09
Hi Hatley, I'll leave me friend who is considering installing this system to do all the research, I just wanted a general overview of peoples experiences with them. You've made me wonder now though with your comment on produce grown how far the power would carry as there is a big watermelon exporter in the area. Just getting ideas really Hatley.
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