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Re: [OM] [OT] In case you hadn't heard....

Subject: Re: [OM] [OT] In case you hadn't heard....
From: Ken Norton <ken@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2014 11:18:56 -0500
> Batteries aren't practical for a large scale system. but there are other
> ways to store that power. Gravity being the best at this point. What did
> farmers do with their old Aermotor? Pump water. This idea has been
> developed .

Gravity is used with water. There are quite a few hydro projects
around the world that are used for this purpose. Water is pumped from
a lower reservoir to a higher one when you have surplus energy
(Nuclear being primary source at night) and then released back through
the turbines during the day to handle peak load. The largest one just
outside Ludington Michigan.

The old Aeromotors (brand name, but that's like "Aspirin"), have two
nifty mechanisms. A float will prevent overpumping when the tank is
full, and the second thing is that tail changes angle, essentially
feathering the windmill in stronger winds. As very prescious few have
been maintained in the last 50 years, it's hard to see these things
operating correctly anymore. Rural Oklahoma, Wyoming and a few other
spots still have properly running ones, but I've seen ONE in Iowa.
Just one.

My wife grew up on an Iowa farm where they used it until the mid or
late 1970s. Most of the time, it was a maintenance headache and
required frequent adjustments. But it was really a bad deal when you
would get a couple of days with no wind. A family can live off of a
few hundred gallons of water for a few days, but 200 head of cattle
can't. My in-laws knew how to stretch a dollar farther than it was
ever meant to be stretched and were very progressive in some farming
techniques, but they did hold out on the electric pump for a long time
because of the cost. It cost a lot to buy and install, but also a lot
for operation. Pumping hundreds of gallons every day from 200 feet
down takes a bunch of electricity.

Ken Norton
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