Some links to old
pumping windmill sites.
The solar pump compared to
There is an
about this subject
Personally I find windmills much
to look at, and they
longer than a solar pump.
We tend to forget about old
we are told the
new way is more convenient.
But is it.
neighbors depend on their
electric pressure pumps to provide
but they pay for this
with every power
and have no
water when there is
a power outage.
I have water
pressure provided by
the wind and
gravity, no extra
power bill and I'm
not affected by
Which system is better?
You can buy working scale model
windmills in Australia from
John White. Link.
|Southern Cross Windmills.
I've always liked the old farm windmills,
there was just something about them that catches my
attention, both from a mechanical and photographic point
of view. I've always had a interest in old machinery,
a respect for something that was built long before I
was born. Add to that a interest in photography and
the old windmills just fall into place as a personal
If you go for a drive
out in the country side you can see the old windmills
everywhere, most in a very sad looking state, but some
still working. Occasionally you come across a
real gem, like the two windmills below. These have been
restored by enthusiasts, and I take my hat off to them.
I photographed these about 4 years ago on a drive from
Mackay to Toowoomba via the inland route, a 1,000 km
all day trip. Remember you can click on the images to
see full size.
|An interesting design, used a guyed
tower and the whole tower turned to face the wind.
|This old Comet was a monster, 8
meters diameter turbine.
|This one below now lives at Queens Park, Toowoomba. Its a down wind type, the turbine is facing away from the wind.
I n late 2006 I bought my very own windmill,
a old "Z" series Southern Cross, 6 foot turbine
on a 25 foot tower. The Z models had a piece of corrugated
iron for the tail and were made between 1930 and 1953.
It was only a baby as far as Southern Cross windmills
go, but it will do me just fine.
|Getting ready to raise the tower.
The windmill head is still off, we needed to raise
the tower a few feet first so we could slip on the
head, it was a 2 man lift, bit of weight in the
|This is how I rigged up a gin pole
to raise the tower. These towers are designed to
be lifted with a crane, not a gin pole, so I paid
extra attention to strength around the pivot points.
|Almost there, I was a little nervous,
past the point of no return. My mate Justin was
giving me a hand and I was glad he was around.
|All done. Fitting the tail was
scary, involves holding onto the windmill with one
hand and leaning out to hook on the tail with the
other hand. 25 foot seams like a long way up when
you on a little platform that wobbles. Next time
I'll do that when the windmill is at ground height
|This is the pump mechanism. The
pump at the bottom has a 2.25in bore. The water
comes out in the middle section, through a one way
valve. The top half is the packing tube or gland,
sort of like a seal to keep the water in Apart from
the new poly pipe fittings, its all made from brass
|The windmill is furled manually.
There is a lever at chest height that pulls a cable.
This lifts the furling plate that causes the tail
to change angle.
Above is how I
rigged it all up. A 5,000 liter rain water tank collects
rain water from the workshop shed roof. At the bottom
of the tank is a outlet that is fed to the windmill
pump inlet. The pump outlet goes up the hill to the
header tank, a 1,000 liter tank about 10 meters up the
hill behind my house. The header tank has a over flow
that is piped back down the hill to the rain water tank.
So once the header tank is full the excess is fed back
to the main tank. At the bottom of the header tank is
the outlet ( not shown ) that feeds water to the house.
The height of the header tank gives plenty of water
pressure to the house. It all works a treat, no electric
pumps or float valves. And with a little maintenance
it will still be working in 50 years.