OK, you clever guys, will a windmill in my backyard cut down on the
I saw on the new that they are now selling windmills for people's back
yards, especially if they have a quarter acre or more.
Won't this cut down on the breeze they have?
After all, you don't get something for nothing.
P.S. They're 40 feet high instead of 80.
Frankly even if they were 80, I don't think they would be as ugly as
on farms where I want to see a beautiful vista. In most residential
n'hoods there is no vista to begin with, and the trees and the houses
which are never too far way, keep one from seeing whatever there is.
What would be the point of a windmill? Windmills are typically there to
help pump water from the well, or if the farm is a bit more modern to help
generate electricity. They don't do any real good unless out in the open or
up high on a hill. As to cutting down the breeze, not likely unless your
hammock swings 50' in the air.
Well, excuse me? Since when are we Neanderthals on the farm only a
"bit more modern" if we have that-there new-fangled 'lectric stuff?
The house I currently live in was built in 1914 or '15 w/ full wiring
initially and a Delco 80 VDC windcharger system until got REA lines
after the war in 1948.
I have no idea what OP saw on the news but there are "microturbine"
generators for either residential load or load-sharing w/ utility
power. Remote areas of Canada and the US still have areas where the DC
windcharger is common although the areas w/o local REC service continue
to shrink gradually.
There are also systems for pond aeration, water wells as you note, and
simply aesthetics altho one would assume not w/ 40' tower.
A 6-8' diameter imperfectly efficient fan is going to noticeably affect
the amount of wind except for a very short distance directly downwind
You don't say what the purpose is...micro-generation, perhaps?
You don't want to see a working farm, you're asking somebody else to
make a scenic idyll for your benefit. There are probably more
photographs and paintings of a windmill on the horizon w/ the setting
sun than any other iconic representation of the west/midwest.
My best friend has had a 14 foot blade wind machine since 1960 or so.
It generates 12 volts and can also produce 24 but he isnt using that
The sad fact is the cost of batteries exceeed the power generated:( He
has had 40 years to observe this....
his is a low speed machine thats quiet.
new grid tie in units are high speed and noisey.. the moving shadow of
the blade can irritatre neighbors, units require routine maintence.
unless your in a perfect windy spot they dont pay for themselves. sadly
neither do solar panels.
Mike OBVIOUSLY you arent aware oif how long it would take to produce 50
thousand $ worth of electricity"(
Power companies buy it back at no more than the WHOL:ESALE production
cost less transportation back.
So the seller sells at say 2 or 3 cents a lillowatt hour and BUYS their
power at perhaps 10 cents a killowatt hour.
Anyone considering a wind machine / solar needs to know that in
advance.remember too days arent usually windy... most wind machines
ONLY generate power in winds of over 10 MPH that elminates all the
breezy days:( Wind must be consistent, up and down doesnt generate well
most new machines only turn on after X time in minutes of consistent
To answer the OP question little effect on wind will be felt since the
machines are realtively small in comparison to the overall area and
they CANT get much energy out of the wind perhaps 15%
So a 50 mile wind speed would be decreased by 15% 7.5 MPH right at the
machine but the machines cant be close together they will interere with
each others wind.
With a 50 MPH wind you might at most notce a 5MPH drop but even that is
likely larger than reality.
I'm asking you guys. All I know is one doesn't get something for
nothing. Assume there is more than one windmill, that the maximum
number for maximum electric generation are there. I don't know if
that means everyone has one in his back yard or not.
Electricity. The owner they interviewed, who might be tempted to
think he's getting more out of this than he is, says he gets 25 or 30
percent of his electric needs from his windmill (and we also don't
know how much he uses) and that he is in a moderate-wind area. Of
course he sells back to the grid whatever extra he makes when he's out
of town, not home, etc.
I'm more talking about from a distance, and not especially talking
about where the work is done, but the fields of wheat and corn, etc.
No, I'm not asking anything. What I said was that something ELSE
would not be as ugly, as windmills ruing a beautiful vista.
Aren't you saying that a working farm is ugly? Does that mean that
you are asking them to stop working it?
What I was referring to, and you will find this to be true, that some
people who can see farms from where they live (and I can't), object to
windmills because they are ugly ITO, in their opinion. It remains to
be seen if they can influnence legislatures to regulate windmills
based on their affect on the view. Rememeber, we already have iirc
easements for light (and one other thing that escapes me). It's not
entirely out of the question that some statute already supports, or a
new statute could be passed to give foks, a right to a view without
Those designs are considered charming, at least by those who make
pictures of them and who hang them on the wall. Do you really think
the industrial Star-trek windmills sold now are pretty in the way that
old ones are thought to be?
Just about everyone here says that new refrigerators and furnaces are
much more efficient than old ones, even only 25 years or less older,
so it seems likely to me that new windmills are more efficient and
better in other ways than old ones also. The TV news story did say
that only 38 have been installed so far.
Do you think the news is bribed to put these stories on the air?
There is no doubt in my mind that Jeopardy is paid for some of the
questions they have, often whole categories, but Jeopardy doesn't
pretend to be investigative. There was a story on a tabloid show
(are they more bribable?) that did nothing but tout how good the
management of Costco was, especially the founder and CEO. Though it
was interesting, I can't help wondering if it wasn't paid for and
meant to be one sided, and shouldn't be on any show that pretends to
be neutral. (Worth noting that 100, 200 years ago, newspapers didn't
pretend to be neutral (even I think it means in the news section).
Not sure when the news shift occurred.
Of course one doesn't get something for nothing, but consider the size
of the rotor in the environment you're speaking of--it's such a
miniscule fraction of the atmosphere that is being disturbed that other
than very localized effects, the amount of breeze you're going to feel
isn't going to be modified significantly by one or a few turbines
There's a theoretical upper limit of roughly 60% turbine efficiency
_irregardless_ of turbine design and in for propeller-type designs
roughly 30% is an effective upper limit. Real turbines actually
operate more nearly at or below 20%. So, you're talking of a reduction
of a maximum of something like 20% of the energy (square root of the
velocity difference since the energy is proportional to square of
speed) and that only in a very localized location.
In summary, for the small-scale turbines of the orignial question, I
think the answer has to be essentially "no".
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder... :) To the land owner the
associated royalty check might be _very_ pretty! :)
And, I was really intending the "you" in the general sense not
necessarily specifically you as an individual only. It's the "not in
my back yard" syndrome on an individual basis that effects all on a
Actually, I was addressing it from the viewpoint of _being_ a farmer
and the recognition that agriculture in general is being subjected more
and more to increasing encroachment on by "city folk" who want rural
living but then discover that the farm next door that has been there
for 100 years maybe does disconcerting things like milking cows in the
morning that disturbs their beauty rest so they file suit to stop it.
Sorta' the same thing as the folks who buy the house in the new
subdivision next to the airport and then complain about the noise
planes make taking off and landing.
While I can and do understand the viewpoint and there are a couple of
places where windfarms have been proposed in my home state that I
support efforts to prevent them from being in that _particular_ site
purely for the aesthetic reasons, it is also true that if it is allowed
to be it could completely stifle development. In particular, it seems
to me that the tendency of many of those who are doing the objecting
want (and expect) the benefits, they just want it at somebody else's
expense, not theirs. It is that attitude that I read as at least an
undercurrent that may not have been intended.
Well, in their own way, they can be. As noted above, there are several
large windfarms within hailing distance here and more proposed and
being built all the time. There are a lot of people stopping and
taking pictures along the highway and there's always an out-of-state
car stopped at the visitors' kiosk every time I'm by there. Here's a
They can only be talking of microtowers, then. There are 170 in the
Gray County windfarm alone generating 112 MWe since 2001.
But, certainly, modern wind-generation technology is better than the
old windcharger system my grandfather put up in 1915. So is coal-fired
generation technology, for that matter, by probably nearly the same
Where did this come from? But, in some instances, "bribed" is probably
too strong but there is no doubt in my mind that many of the stories
are aired for a particular purpose, yes.
Like the one I saw on (I think) CBS the other evening about some gal in
upstate NYawk all upset about a proposed transmission line. Having
seen it, I now have no doubt the leaning of the person who wrote and
reported the story and hence, of the network producers who aired it in
the form it was shown.
new machines are slightly more efficent but everything is a trade off,
old machines generated power in a slight breeze, new more efficent ones
only in 10 mph winds...
sadly there hasnt been a 80 percent jump in efficency.
windmills tend to kill birds who fly into the blades not seeing
You aren't getting something for nothing. The wind blows because of
difference in high and low pressure zones. Wind "blows" from high to
low pressure. Those pressure differences occur from a complex system
on our planet, fueled by the sun (sun heat the ground and water, causes
evaporation and temp differences, yada, yada, yada).
A windmill isn't going to stop that from happening. I suppose if you
had 50 wind mills all next to each other (and blocking each other) at
ground level, you'd notice a decrease in the breeze similar to the way
your house or a tree blocks wind, but the wind mill is way up off the
ground, and it won't block the wind any more than a little sapling.
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