Author Topic: Wind power air compressor?  (Read 23552 times)

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Farmer

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Wind power air compressor?
« on: October 22, 2004, 11:15:33 PM »
There are many tools that can be run on compressed air.  Many of the Amish use compressed air for kitchen appliances, fans, shop tools etc...


A no longer certified propane tank makes a great air tank with large capacity.


Why not make a windmill that powers an air compressor?  By storing compressed air I could reduce the size of the battery bank I need.  Air tanks have a far longer service life than batteries and cost much less to purchase.  Used tanks can be acquired for next to nothing.


I suppose that to obtain the higher pressures a reduction system would need to be used to obtain enough torque to drive the compressor.  But what if a sail type windmill similar to the dutch pump mills was used.  I imagine those huge sails generate incredible torque.


A small mill that only generates up to 30psi intended for aeration of a pond.

http://www.malibuwater.com/oAirCompressor.html


Air lift pump for pumping from wells, no data on psi generated.

http://www.realgoods.com/renew/shop/product.cfm?dp=1900&ts=3041712


I suppose another option is to use the wind to make electricity and power an electric compressor directly without running through a battery bank.  


I cannot find any more material on google, perhaps I don't know the proper search terms.


I want an wind powered air compressor which will produce 125psi or more.

« Last Edit: October 22, 2004, 11:15:33 PM by (unknown) »

stop4stuff

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Re: Wind power air compressor?
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2004, 02:06:14 AM »
Hi Farmer,


If you are a capable person, an auto engine can be converted to compress air.

125psi works out to be 8.3:1 compression ratio... most auto engines are 7:1 - 9:1 for petrol and 13:1 for diesel.


I've seen on UK tv a 2 cylinder motorbike engine used as an air compressor running off hydro... if i find any info, i'll add it on.


Do you have an idea of the amount of air you want at 125 psi?


The biggest hurdle I can forsee is the size of the blades to provide the quantity of air you require, as you'd need quite high torque to get the compressor going.


Also, compressing air is expensive in terms of energy used to compress air, and there is alot of energy wasted as heat from the compressor... an oportunity for co-generation?


paul

« Last Edit: October 23, 2004, 02:06:14 AM by stop4stuff »

Norm

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Re: Wind power air compressor?
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2004, 05:00:51 AM »
  Use an unloader valve...the compressor turns constantly a lever holds the intake valve open until the pre-determined pressure in the tank drops the intake valve is allowed to close and the compressor pumps air until the pressure is reached.

   Air is not the best way to store energy...however if you used air tools it would be nice to have a dual system run by a wind driven compressor with a large flywheel the flywheel turns at a constant speed ...if the wind isn't providing the energy the battery powered DC motor takes over...when there is enough wind and you don't need any air for the moment the flywheel would charge the battery.

                   ( :>) Norm.  
« Last Edit: October 23, 2004, 05:00:51 AM by Norm »

K3CZ

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Re: Wind power air compressor?
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2004, 05:15:59 AM »
Actually, this is old art - I have seen a local Amish setup that used a 16' waterpump type windmill(has the high torque necessary for the compressor) running a good sized air compressor (via power coupling that, unfortunately, I have no record of).  He used a railroad tank car (!) as an air tank reservoir, and ran everything on a regular sized dairy farm in Lancaster Co. with  the system, with a diesel compressor backup.  Therefore, such a system can be made to work, altho there must be limitations.                                                        

                                             K3CZ
« Last Edit: October 23, 2004, 05:15:59 AM by K3CZ »

Farmer

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Re: Wind power air compressor?
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2004, 08:43:25 AM »
K3CZ,


You said a 16' windmill is that the diameter of the blades or the height of the tower?


Is that system in Lancaster, PA if I get out that way in the near future I'll look up the fellow and talk with him.


My primary use for the air will be shop tools.  If I have surplus air I would use it for other things too.

« Last Edit: October 23, 2004, 08:43:25 AM by Farmer »

K3CZ

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Re: Wind power air compressor?
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2004, 10:45:38 AM »
Farmer;  I'm afraid my data is somewhat out of date - The farm was having a sell-out auction, and it was at least ten years ago before I was into alternate energy, so I doubt if the installation is running today.  Also, I haven't the foggiest idea where in Lancaster Co. it was, and as you probably know, most Amish farms have a strong resemblance to each other.  I do have contact (no phone, tho) with a good Amish horse farmer friend with lots of contacts who might be able to put you on the trail to that or a similar installation.

                                              K3CZ
« Last Edit: October 23, 2004, 10:45:38 AM by K3CZ »

Farmer

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Re: Wind power air compressor?
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2004, 12:35:52 PM »
Thanks for the offer.  I think that I will just pursue some more local leads.  I am in northern Indiana and while I do occasionally find my way to Lancaster it isn't that often.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2004, 12:35:52 PM by Farmer »

John II

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Re: Wind power air compressor?
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2004, 12:42:29 PM »
Some Air Pumping windmills that ( I think ) are capable of fairly high pressures.


http://www.cisolar.com/CatWindPump.htm


http://www.airliftech.com/


John II

« Last Edit: October 23, 2004, 12:42:29 PM by John II »

ghurd

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Re: Wind power air compressor?
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2004, 07:02:47 AM »
How about a 2-stroke, maybe from a little dirt bike?

Put a 1 way valve where the spark plug was.

Oiling could be a problem.

Just seems it would be small enough to get some good pressure from the wind.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2004, 07:02:47 AM by ghurd »
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CG

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Re: Wind power air compressor?
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2004, 01:53:37 AM »
On the matter of using a car engine to compress the air, could the engine also be used a a water heater? Wind turbines have been marketed to churn fluids to generate heat by friction. The compression of air also creates heat, and the engines cooling system could transfer this heat to a storage tank. It may not be the most effecient way of using wind power to heat water, but we dump millions of car engines each year and it would be nice to get a bit more use from them. I think it's about 30% of the energy use to compress the air goes in heat - and that's in an effient compressor.


Sorry this comments a bit late but I have only just discovered and joined the group.

« Last Edit: November 25, 2004, 01:53:37 AM by CG »

Amptramp

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Re: Wind power air compressor?
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2005, 02:16:36 PM »
Intrigued by this method of energy storage, I have been building an air compressor/wind turbine system.


My tower stands 30 feet tall, and has a rotor of 20 feet diameter.

The rotor operates at 60 to 90 RPM, and readily generates 2000 watts of power.


At the bottom of the tower, is a machine room that houses the compressor.

This comprises a 1300CC motor car engine, with its timing gear removed.

The engine is fitted with two sets of one way valves in the spark plug ports.

Modified spark plugs allow me to connect all manner of fittings to the compression chambers, so this makes for easy modifications.

The compression ratio of this engine is unknown, but I suspect that it is a little higher than I'd like. To lower this figure, I can use short lengths of tube between the spark plug ports and the one way valves.

That ought to make for a system that can't deliver dangerously high pressures?


At this time, I have yet to complete the compressor part of this project. My intention is to turn the engine at quite a low speed, approx 100RPM.


At this low speed, rotor torque requirements will be reduced, so it will have an easier time of turning the engine.

In addition to the engine, there is an electric clutch system. This slowly engages the engine to the turbine through a modified clutch plate. Control for this is to be managed by pressure sensors in the air storage tanks.

The electric clutch offers another useful advantage, it lets me isolate the engine from the turbine so I may still get electricity in low winds.


It remains to be seen if the engine will still be correctly lubricated, or if it will be inclined to heat up.


Once completed and working, my air tools will have plenty of power to enjoy  :)  .


Fingers crossed for good results.


Best wishes,

Steve McAmptramp


 

« Last Edit: November 25, 2005, 02:16:36 PM by Amptramp »

kays2002

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Re: Wind power air compressor?
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2006, 01:52:51 AM »
Gas turbines use compressors to mix compressed air with the fuel to burn. By replaceing the coventional wind turbine with  a micro hydro turbine, the compressed air can be used without the need of storing it. Can Turbo chargers be used to get compresed air?
« Last Edit: April 01, 2006, 01:52:51 AM by kays2002 »

blackbear

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Re: Wind power air compressor?
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2007, 09:12:49 AM »
Hi


just browsing the board and found this - I have just joined the board and can't seem to find a way of PM'ing K3CZ. I'm travelling across the US & planning to visit some Amish communities to see how they use compressed air, I am part of a community in the UK setting up a sustainable living centre, and want to build some wind pumps generating compressed air.

I already use compressed air in the workshop but would like to develop it further.


Does anyone have useful contacts for Amish communities in Lancaster Co they'd be willing to share?


Thanks in advance

« Last Edit: September 13, 2007, 09:12:49 AM by blackbear »

ghurd

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Re: Wind power air compressor?
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2007, 10:52:12 AM »
The vast majority use a 3 or 4 cyl diesel compressor and 1000 to 3600 gallon air tanks.

They use it like anybody uses air, mostly tools.


The only 'unusual' item I can think of is the air powered well pump. Someone living alone may have a 8HP Gasoline Honda compressor and 500 gallon air tank, primarily for the well pump.


Lancaster Amish tend to be a little different than most other areas. I believe you will be disappointed if you only travel to Lancaster.  You may find more of what you are looking for in Western Pennsylvania, Ohio, or Indiana. Not sure what you expect to see.

I am in NE Ohio.

G-

« Last Edit: September 13, 2007, 10:52:12 AM by ghurd »
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ghurd

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Re: Wind power air compressor?
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2007, 01:11:57 PM »
Also, K3CZ has not done anything on this board for almost a year, and this is a 3 year old story.

It may help if someone with the information you seek has your contact information.

G-
« Last Edit: September 13, 2007, 01:11:57 PM by ghurd »
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spinningmagnets

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Re: Wind power air compressor?
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2007, 06:13:42 PM »
I always encourage "thinking outside the box", and I don't want to sound as though I am discourageing any experimentation, but..


A turbocharger would have to spin many thousands of RPM's to get any appreciable compression. I doubt that this would prove to be a useful route (and I'm a fan of turbo's).


I recall an adapter that allowed a motorcycle enthusiast to use the electric starter to spin the engine and get air pressure through the spark plug hole of one of the cylinders to fill an air mattress when camping, so this line of logic is "do-able".


I also recall that the firing order of a Ford 302 allowed one bank to operate as a smooth firing 4-cylinder, while the other bank of the engine functioned as a 4-cyl air compressor.


http://www.southern-tool.com/store/grimm-schmidt_gas_compressors.html http://www.ytmag.com/toolt/messages/143175.html


There is also a kit that involves a custom cam, and several other adapters that converted a VW air-cooled 4-cylinder bug engine so that two cylinders functioned as an engine, and two of the cylinders acted as an air compressor.


http://www.angelfire.com/biz/dunnright/DR3.html


I am a fan of efficiency, but efficiency is a relative term, in that, if the wind/water is free, then, if an IN-efficient device made from free junk can perform a job that you need...start out in-efficient and work your way up as time and money allow.


"If at first you don't succeed...you probably shouldn't try skydiving."

-Henry Youngman.

« Last Edit: September 13, 2007, 06:13:42 PM by spinningmagnets »

dayton

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Re: Wind power air compressor?
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2008, 11:49:58 PM »
I know this is an old thread, but it really caught my eye.  Farmer, any updates?  


How about using an automotive A/C compressor to compress air?  They are all over the junkyards, and they include a clutch so you could have a bunch connected and only turn on the ones you need.


Dayton

« Last Edit: July 26, 2008, 11:49:58 PM by dayton »

ghurd

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Re: Wind power air compressor?
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2008, 05:39:17 AM »
Most automotive A/C compressors cycle the oil out and back.

Soon all the compressor's oil would be in the air tank.


However, some old York compressors have the oil seperate from the air.

Mid to late 70's US Fords, AMCs, Volvos (funny).


A google of 'York compressor Jeep' should give plenty of hits.

Jeep guys use them as air compressors.


My idea is to run a fridge compressor (~80W at 1/2CFM?) as a pre-dump load with a 3 minute minimum timer.  Quiet, simple, and a long life.  

My compressor supply dried up at the worst possible time.

G-

« Last Edit: July 27, 2008, 05:39:17 AM by ghurd »
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Tritium

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Re: Wind power air compressor?
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2008, 04:22:14 PM »
"Most automotive A/C compressors cycle the oil out and back."


Easily taken care of with an oil separator:


http://www.made-in-china.com/showroom/cn-rsp/product-detailCeunKqEJYgkD/China-Oil-Separators-with-St
ore.html


Thurmond

« Last Edit: July 27, 2008, 04:22:14 PM by Tritium »

ghurd

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Re: Wind power air compressor?
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2008, 05:54:44 PM »
Oil in the air tank is not a major problem.

A compressor without oil is a major problem.

G-
« Last Edit: July 27, 2008, 05:54:44 PM by ghurd »
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Tritium

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Re: Wind power air compressor?
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2008, 07:14:43 PM »
A refrigerant oil separator returns oil to the compressor crankcase.


Thurmond

« Last Edit: July 27, 2008, 07:14:43 PM by Tritium »

ghurd

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Re: Wind power air compressor?
« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2008, 04:14:35 AM »
THAT's what I have been looking for.

Not sure I get it.  The oil is returned to the unit with a manually operated valve?

The prices are frightening.

G-
« Last Edit: July 28, 2008, 04:14:35 AM by ghurd »
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Tritium

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Re: Wind power air compressor?
« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2008, 04:46:09 AM »
Let me look it up in my refrigeration textbook. I know we built them from copper pipe and a few valves in refrigeration school because the commercial ones were too expensive. I may have a time finding my textbook since it has not been unpacked since my last move.


Thurmond

« Last Edit: July 28, 2008, 04:46:09 AM by Tritium »

ghurd

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Re: Wind power air compressor?
« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2008, 05:14:27 AM »
I have a couple questions, if you have time and don't mind...

ghurd1 at yahoo,com
« Last Edit: July 28, 2008, 05:14:27 AM by ghurd »
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Tritium

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Re: Wind power air compressor?
« Reply #24 on: July 28, 2008, 05:49:03 AM »
ghurd,


Sent you an e-mail.


Thurmond

« Last Edit: July 28, 2008, 05:49:03 AM by Tritium »

Farmer

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Re: Wind power air compressor?
« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2008, 10:27:51 PM »
dayton,


You asked for an update.


I am not using compressed air in any significant way, and am not planning to do so at this time.


Our family has been living off the grid for just over 3 years now.  We have 3 small solar panels and a battery bank of 4 T-105s that are wired for 12V.  When we need more power I have a Changfa powered generator that I built, I got real tired of using high rpm gasoline generators and went all out on this generator.  I have it installed in an enclosed trailer along with my welding equipment which allows me to do portable welding work.  I hope to build a listeroid generator in the near future which will become the primary generator and relegate the noisy changfa to backup/portable duty.


Details on the generator can be found at http://stuffformyfriends.blogspot.com/2008_04_01_archive.html just scroll down a bit.


The solar panels provide more than enough power for everything except our Hughesnet satellite internet system and the washing machine.  So when we run the generator to power the washer we also charge the battery bank to replace the power used by the satellite connection.

« Last Edit: August 31, 2008, 10:27:51 PM by Farmer »

09009

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Re: Wind power air compressor?
« Reply #26 on: November 07, 2008, 10:56:29 AM »
Thanks for providing this information.
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« Last Edit: November 07, 2008, 10:56:29 AM by 09009 »