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Today is the big SpringSpree in Colorado Springs. Typical fair stuff.

I just got back from a 400 mile trip to southern Colorado. The point was to participate in the inaugural trial of the freshly rebuilt D&RGW narrow gauge railroad piledriver "OB", but it was a bust because the air compressors weren't big enough.

In any case, I managed 78 mpg (about 3 liters/100km) for the trip, and saw an interesting example of "replacement renewable energy." As you know, the American west is punctuated by thousands of small windmills used to pump water for livestock. These familiar devices have been around for over 100 years, and are really pretty simple--just a crude "turbine" on a simple stand with a gearbox that runs a water pump.

But just north of the Spanish Peaks, on highway 160, I saw a dismantled windmill that had been replaced by a solar array (maybe 2 square meters) and an electric pump. The economics of this escape me...


(This is not the one I saw, but the same setup.)

by asdf on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 01:35:16 PM EST
Those old Aero-Motors windmill driven pumps really takes me back.  That was a great design, for their time, and they worked like champs.  There are some that have been steadily pumping away for 80 years!  

A pain to repair, true, yet if you kept up the maintenance you didn't need to repair them, under usual work conditions.  

I'll bet the owner had to re-drill the well as the older ones lowered the water table and are now sucking sand.

 

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 03:19:58 PM EST
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