Wind to Pump Water
Windmills have been used to pump water since as early as the 7th century, in Persia. Popularly identified with Holland (where they are instrumental in draining the land reclaimed from the sea by dikes), windmills have also been used extensively in the US, as part of the farm homestead.
Today, wind is still used to pump water simply and effectively, without wasting energy unnecessarily. As the cost of electricity and fossil fuels rise, using wind energy to pump water is making a comeback. Today, water pumping windmills come in two popular varieties:
- Traditional mechanical water pumping windmills. These are windmills located at the water source. They employ a simple mechanical system of multiple blades on a turning wheel (or rotor). A crank, mounted on the rotor shaft, moves up and down with the turning of the mill. This is how the water is lifted and pumped. They are limited by the fact that they have to be located at the water source.
- Electric power water pumping. These do not have to be located near the water source. Instead, the wind energy system powers an electric pump, while the wind turbine is situated in a place where wind energy is at a maximum. These are simpler than other wind electric systems, as they do not require elaborate system components.