Windplants: Learn About Wind Power

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ILLUSTRATION: FOTOLIA/YEKOO
Now that a goodly percentage of the earth's human population is finally beginning to realize the finite nature of the planet's fossil fuel reserves, the search for more efficient windplant designs has suddenly grown even more intense and a sampling of the latest work in the field is shown on the pages that follow. 

Back around 1931, Marcellus Jacobs (see the Plowboy
Interview in MOTHER EARTH NEWS NO. 24) designed a wind-driven
generator of electricity. It was good. So good that
now — over 40 years later — every commercially successful
windplant currently being manufactured anywhere in the
world is still more or less a Chinese copy of Jacobs’ unit.

Over the decades, of course, many other inventors have
tried to improve — or replace — the Jacobs windplant with
modifications of the basic unit or completely new designs
of their own. Not a single one seems to have had much luck
in that endeavor … so far but that hasn’t discouraged a
steady stream of new experimenters from trying to beat
Marcellus at his own game year after year after year.

Now that a goodly percentage of the earth’s human
population is finally beginning to realize the finite
nature of the planet’s fossil fuel reserves and is interested in learning more about wind power, the search for
more efficient windplant designs has suddenly grown even
more intense … and a sampling of the latest work in the field
is shown on the pages that follow.

A Windplant Design Service

We have a service to offer anyone building a windplant:
complete design of the blades (with templates) plus
generator, transmission, and tower strength considerations.
Just provide the following information:

[1] Average power needed, in watts

[2] Average wind at
site, in mph

[3] Average temperature at site, in degrees F

[4] Altitude of site, in feet

[5] Type of transmission

[a] direct drive

[b] gear

[c] timing belt

[d] V belt

[6] Number of shafts in transmission

[7] Generator
efficiency, if known (if not, just give nameplate data)

The cost of the full service is $5.00, and we’ll also rent
you a wind velocity meter for $1.00 plus $5.00 returnable
deposit.

The Wind Power Digest

There’s a lot going on in the field of wind power these
days … and folks who are trying to keep abreast of current developments might want to check out a new publication, Wind Power Digest, edited by Mike Evans of Bristol,
Indiana. Mike describes the first issue now available as
“really an access catalog to wind power systems, designed
to convey as much general information as possible … and
hopefully to encourage a reader response cycle to keep the
magazine going.” Whether or not that happens, Wind Power
Digest No.1
may turn out to be something of a collector’s
item if it lives up to its table of contents:

[1] Photographs, drawings, and informational reviews of all
available electric-generating and water-pumping windmills,
including Aerowatt, Dunllte, Electro, Winco, Lubing,
Jacobs, Dempster, Baker, and Aermotor. Also listed are four
windplant designs now being researched for possible
marketing: American Wind Turbine, Zephyr Wind Dynamo,
Sailwing, and Helion 12/16.

[2] A Plans section including reviews of the Sencenbaugh 02
Powered Delight, Windworks, Sailwing, and 1 Footer,
Earthmind’s S-Rotor, Brace Research S-Rotor, and a number
of other miscellaneous plans.

[3] A look at Jim Sencenbaugh’s new windplant kit.

[4] Listings of various wind systems components, including
batteries. inverters. miscellaneous, electronics, towers,
back-up generators, and windspeed measurement equipment.

[5] Listings of 18 companies which now market various wind
power systems and components.

[6] Reviews of the 14 most valuable publications currently
available in the wind power field.

[7] Reports on the groups researching wind power, including
a complete rundown on the activities of Brace Research
Institute during the past 14 years.

[8] Several features, including Bill Goddard’s “An
Introduction to Helion”, an interview with Environmental
Energies of Detroit, and an article by Winnie Red Rocker.

That’s a lot of useful material right there and Mike is
prepared to leave it at that if he must. He’d much prefer
to publish regularly, however, and is all set to do so if
No. 1 is well received. Which means, alternative energy
freaks, that the future of Wind Power Digest is up to you.