Savonius Windmills: Explore and Experiment
The primal urge for self-reliance...admit it, occasionally you feel the desire to escape this complex interdependent world we live in. But with all my skills at paper-shuffling, I ask myself, how can I hope to survive on my own wits? Well, here's a chance to test the limits by experimenting with a Savonius or S Rotor wind power generator in the comfort of your own living room; or if you are a teacher, to inspire some of next generation's generator geniuses (maybe follow in the footsteps of Fred Ferguson of Magenn.)Treehugger tipped this neat little power producer for simple local applications such as running a gate opener or a safety light. But our interest was once again piqued by discussion in a microcruising news group, and it seems there is more to Savonius than meets the eye. A Mother Earth News article dating to the last energy crisis does the best job of explaining the advantages of this overlooked technology. In particular, the Savonius windmill may be less efficient in a direct comparison to the traditional bladed mill, but under real-life conditions of fluctuating wind strengths and multiple wind directions the Savonius is superior. For example, the Savonius "scoops up" wind coming from all directions, while the traditional mill needs to rotate to point into the wind, often missing the strength in the gusts due to the reorientation gap time. And if you are into microcruising, or windsurfing, or any other wind-dependent sport: you know that the wind more often than not comes in from alternating directions. Additionally, the Savonius remains efficient at lower wind speeds. So if you want to go off-grid but you don't live in prime wind country, the Savonius may be just what you are looking for.