Urban Windmills

by schmidt on August 25, 2009 · 4 comments

in Miscellaneous Schmidt,Power and Energy Conservation

Solar power is so hot right now it is easy to forget about alternate sources of home power.  But just as the thought of rooftop photovoltaic panels probably sounded uber green 10 years ago, in 10 years we may well see more houses with these:


I have been watching this windmill spin in the Forrest Hills Extension neighborhood of The City for some time now.  I think it takes some big hairy balls to be willing to erect one of these on your block, and I approve.  This is radically unknown territory for your average home owner, and not every contractor, electrician or even inspector from the Department of Building Inspection is going to know what to do with a home windmill.  Obviously though, it can be done, and in windy locals it makes sustainable sense.   One big disadvantage to Solar Panels like the ones I have on my house is that they do not work at night.  But the wind can blow 24/7, so having the capacity to generate at all times is great.   Now my electrical bills with a 2.3 Kilowatt solar system is $11.22 for this past month (PG&E bill just came) but this has been summer with longer days and up to 2,000 watts generate each hour.  I know it will drop when winter comes, and something like a windmill would is a tempting addition.  Not 100% sure what the wife will say though…



{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Serena Beltz 08.25.09 at 2:50 pm

We could use a windmill here in Chicago. Solar panels would not be effective 6 months out of the year but we get plenty of wind, especially without any mountains to shield us. Hmmm, I guess my question is weather proofing for the snow and extreme cold we get in Jan-March.

2 schmidt 08.28.09 at 11:14 am

Have you ever heard of geothermal heat pumps Serena? They run these pipes into the ground and as I understand generate heat from the stable ground temperatures near the surface. Check out this link: http://go.owu.edu/~jjromano/passivegeothermal.htm

3 Billy Bob 09.29.09 at 3:35 pm

I read that windmills create high pitched noise that kills goats – we can’t have a world without goats

4 Norma Ray 09.29.09 at 4:46 pm

“I think it takes some big hairy balls to be willing to erect one of these on your block”.

Who is this wonderful pioneer?

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