The War of the Winds

War of the winds

The War of the Winds, or the Long and Windy Road. This is a quick video of the dueling windmills at Mezzacello. The traditional horizontal axis windmill (in the foreground) was my first choice for generating power fro wind. I switched to vertical axis, and I am glad I did.

I will keep running tests of the X axis windmill, but I am not holding out much hope. There just isn’t enough pressure from wind in the city at 3 meters above the ground. The X axis generator is only effective above 50 meters where the wind pressures are more constant and extreme.

The Y axis windmills (atop the bioreactor) are FAR more efficient at creating rotational movement in low wid due to their massive amount of surface area in direct line of the wind. These bad boys turn in winds as small as 9KPH at 3 meters.

Zoning Out

The other benefit of the Y axis or Savonius windmills is that they come in under the 14′ (4.27M) height restriction in the city. Anything taller and I would be in violation with zoning and city code. The height at the tip of the taller y Axis wind turbine? 13’9″.

This was a low breeze day. windspeed was just over pKPH and you can clearly see how much more efficient the y Axis windmills are compared to the X Axis at this height. The X Axis windmill is a grumpy cat. But it was a great learning opportunity.

Sources and Adaptations

I bought the y Axis wind turbines on Amazon last summer. They were easy to install. They have already evolved the design as well, now it is an undulating blade, I assume to increase edges to catch wind.

Mounting them was pretty easy. I just used 1-1/2″ steel threaded conduit and a standard 1-1/2″ steel flange. I had to drill out the holes in the flange to fit the rated bolt diameter to secure the wind turbine base to the flange. And then I just secured the 10′ conduit to the bioreactor with four clamps.

Safety Note! The holes will drill out beautifully with a carbide drill bit, but you MUST secure the flange in a vice before you start drilling. Do not ask me how I know this.

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