In my research on windmills, I found that in most cases, they would not be economical to build for electricity supply depending on use. For example, to produce electricity for home use and or putting it in a grid, the cost of the equipment is more then the power produced. You add the cost of the tower, generator, a number of storage batteries, and converter equipment to make it compatible for electronic equipment or to put back into the grid, and then figure out the breakeven or payback period. This payback period is usually much more then 15 years. I would like to hear how much electric utilities pay you for a kilowatt hr. that you provide compared to what you pay them. I have a different solution for cooler climates. The largest cost for utilities, are hot water heating and winter heating. Skip trying to convert to electricity for electronic equipment since this uses costly supplies for little payback. Put a large watertank in the basement and put in heating coils maybe from old hotwater tanks. Use all the power from the windmill to heat the large watertank for home heating. Insulate the tank so that you save the heat for when needed. Run a copper coil in the tank for hot water usage. Get the largest windmill you can afford. A good size for a watertank would be more then 900 gallons. It would be useful to have a small tank of maybe 100 gallons besides the large tank. When the large tank is low on heat, the small tank can be heated up faster during periods of low wind. This system should have a payback period of less then 10 years.

Laws were passed in most States in the U.S. in the mid-1970s that made it mandatory for the power companies to buy back power at the same rate that you buy it from them. This was, I believe, pushed through by Pie-In-The-Sky-Dreamers otherwise known as hippies. No one gave them a snowball’s chance in Hell of getting the legislation through, but they did. And I believe it happened in Wisconsin first, but I could have that part wrong.

I am up in canada, and in some ways, we’re are not as progressive. I heard somewhere that they want you to post a bond for several thousands of dollars, in case any of your windmill equipment damages anything on the power grid. Also, I have not heard of them buying power back for the same rate here in canada. Different provinces also have different regulations here also.

One problem about trying to hook a bunch of windmills up to a grid is that electricity in the US is at 60 Hz AC (60 cycles/sec) and in order to hook to a grid, your power must match that 60 Hz and be in phase. How would a windmill maintain the right rpm in order to maintain a 60 Hz output of power when the wind changes speed? That is probably the reason why you don’t see much wind power (unless I’m wrong and they do have a way to maintain 60 Hz constant power with fluctuating windmill rpm. I also posted a message in the biofuels list earlier today asking why it wouldn’t be feasable to “crack” hydrogen from vegetable oil instead of coal/oil considering that by weight, vegetable oil is about 12% hydrogen (tripalmitate) and crude oil has about 15.0% hydrogen. I figured that since both crude oil and vegetable oil are organic compounds, that they could be processed the same way.

They don’t make H from coal or oil, they make it from natural gas for the most part, as the most efficient base. I guess I don’t see the point of using VO to make H. By the time you’ve done that (extra cost) and found an inexpensive solution for storing enough in a vehicle to actually go very far, and, of course, actually have a reasonably cheap vehicle that runs on H and gives you good milage — none of which is available at this point — you could be running a very highly efficient Volks TDI getting at least 50mpg on biodiesel with very little pollution. And by the time the previously mentioned problems with the H-fueled vehicle are solved, the diesel will be even cleaner and more efficient. You can buy a diesel right now, in Europe, that will give you 80mpg. If you couple the new diesels with a hybrid system you could do much, much better. Today. Running biodiesel pumped from all the local gas stations without a huge retrofit to convert to H. Maybe they will be able to start a really efficient algae based H production, and all the other stuff will fall into place, but that’s still years from now, don’t wait. I’ve long been a fan of various algaes, spirulina for instance. And long been fascinated by the possibilities of H for fuel — but there’s no way I can build a fuel cell or even build some really efficient storage to run it in a car. It is easy, however, to make biodiesel out of WVO, or grow VO, or make ethanol, and I can do that today. Here and Now. I used to be pretty seriously intent on building a blimp and filling it with H. Yeah, I know all about the Hindenberg – that’s mostly a lot of jive. Fact it, it caught fire, most of the passengers and crew got off safely, very few people hurt or dead. Modern airliners are a whole lot more dangerous – very seldom anybody escapes when they crash.