2003 - Volume #27, Issue #1, Page #40[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Build Your Own Windmill
The vertical windmill has one big advantage over a traditional windmill: It doesn't have to swing around to face the wind.
Sulman's windmill replaced a gasoline engine he was using to power a water pump on his 12-acre hobby farm, which he used to water his small orchard.
The windmill is made from steel barrels that drive an old car rear end. The rear end makes a right angle drive that powers a conventional windmill piston pump.
"After many months of thinking and cutting, it was finally ready to test," he says. "The day we pumped our first gal water was like winning the lottery.
"Since that day we have learned a lot about the way water can be moved and I have made many new friends," he writes.
He says he and his wife now have a productive orchard, plenty of water to irrigate anything they want, and it doesn't cost them a cent.
Williams says when he and a friend were considering building their own windmill a few years ago, the vertical design - often called a Savonious Rotor - seemed to be best suited to their needs and available materials.
They rounded up four empty 44-gal. drums and cut them all in half lengthwise, giving them eight halves. They constructed a tower about 20 ft. tall using 2-in. steel pipe with 1 1/2-in. pipe for bracing.
To make the rotor, they welded the half-drum sails to the 2-in. shaft. They connected the drum halves top and bottom with steel straps to keep them from twisting in the wind.
Then they used self-centering bearings to attach the finished rotor to the cross bracing on the tower.
Since the rotor turns vertically and they needed to connect to a horizontal shaft to drive the pump, they used pulleys and V-belts to make a right angle drive. A lever operated "dog" clutch between the rotor shaft and the pump shaft allows them to turn off the pump when it's not needed. To drive the pump, they welded a disc at the end of the drive shaft. To that, off center, they attached a ball joint from an old Ford Falcon, to give it a cranking motion. A shaft from the ball joint cranks the pump.
Williams says his windmill was very simple to make and everything they used was either scrap or off the shelf parts.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ken Sulman, E-mail: email@example.com.
au; Website: www.southcom.com.au/~windmill/).
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