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Old 06-10-2008, 12:57 AM
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Air compressor project

Thinking about a wind powered air compressor.
It will also generate electricity..

The "guts" will be a gas powered 900 watt
portable generator.

8 inch PVC pipe cut into 1/4s will be the blades

Rx http://www.fieldlines.com/

The idea is to spin the thing with the wind and send air to a tank and electricity to a bank of batteries.

The spark plug hole might be where to tap in for the air part?

Basicly attach fan blades to the shaft where the pull start rope is..

what do you think?
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Old 06-10-2008, 01:36 AM
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Air Compressor

I work with and on air compressors very frequently. the main problem with your design is the amount of energy it takes to actually move and or compress something even as simple as air. example would be to look at a store bought compressor's hp rating to drive a specific size compressor and move a certian volume of air. there are charts out there that will tell you how much hp you need to move the amount of air to be an effective compressor. for a small compressor to driven by the wind you would need to rig up a gear reduction system supply the amount of torque required and specifically sized pulley system to get the required rpms, other wise you would have to have like a 10ft blade span and a 50 mph wind to drive it even something that small. hope this was helpful.
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Old 06-10-2008, 02:03 AM
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More blade . roger that..50 mph wind 10/4 . spark plug hole for the air part while blocking off the exhaust port completly. remove carb and put a air filter there?

---> http://www.fieldlines.com/story/2004/10/23/11533/778

C/P 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
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Last edited by milo; 06-10-2008 at 02:35 AM.
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Old 06-10-2008, 03:01 AM
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Heres one I made for a fishtank. The pump is from an airbrush compressor with a bad motor

My main question is do I block off the exhaust or leave it open and just get a puff of air on 2 out of 4 strokes?





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Last edited by milo; 06-10-2008 at 04:34 AM. Reason: a bit ahead of the curve
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Old 06-10-2008, 06:44 AM
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Interesting. Very interesting. I'm waiting to see what oldred has to say about this. (Mainly because I'm jealous as crap of his air-related knowledge.)



In a while, Chet.
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Old 06-10-2008, 07:47 AM
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What is used on those small compressors is a reed valve system that only allows the air to move one way thru the cylinder..one on the intake side and one on the outlet side..The cam is taken out and not used at all..In order to use the existing valves on a gas engine then a special cam needs to be ground for that purpose..

To get a meaningful amount of air out of a windmill I think one would need to use a compressor of a large displacement turning real slow..Maybe like a 6 inch bore with a 6-8 inch stroke...Probably a two stage in order to get a good pressure from it..Back in the day Ingersol Rand built some like that for industrial apps..Then we will need some REAL BIG windmill blades to put out the torque to turn the compressor and a Large tank to store air..I see no reason from laws of physics or as a practical matter building such a thing..

If I were to layout such a thing I woudl use a 90 degree gearbox at the top of the mill that turned a shaft running verticle to the compressor at the bottom of the windmill tower..Keeping the compressor cylinders laid out around the Shaft in perhaps a radial layout should work fine..Take some thought as to making this thing and it would require a bit a fabrication to build it..Actually quite a bit..

Sorry for the length of the post..

Sam
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Old 06-10-2008, 08:22 AM
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As Sly already pointed out it is a matter of energy management and in this case there is not going to be very much energy to manage. While it would be more efficient to compress the air directly than to generate electricity and then use the electricity to power a compressor you still will not be able to compress much air very fast. Compressing air and storing it in a tank is simply a method of storing energy so you must look at how much energy is going to be available over any given time period and that will be what you will have to work with. With the low torque you will have you will be able to compress a fairly large volume of air at a very low pressure or you can compress a relatively high pressure at a very low volume but you will not have both at the same time. What you would need would be a very small compressor capable of high pressure that would need to be geared such that it could reach the desired pressure on the available torque but this would limit the volume so it would take a very long time to fill a tank of any usable size to a usable pressure. Just like those little 12 volt tire pumps they can build very high pressure (some claim 300 PSI) but they can only do so at an extremely low volume, look at how long it takes to fill a tire to only 32 PSI. Also those windmill blades, while they will certainly work, are very poor from an efficiency standpoint and will waste a large part of the energy from the available wind. The bottom line is you will be able to fill a tank such as an LP gas tank to most any pressure you want but it will take a VERY long time to do so which would, for all practical purposes, limit your use to what air you have stored in the tank due to the extremely long recharge times. As far as generating electricity the biggest problem is spinning the generator fast enough because most are designed for high RPM, the purpose designed generators are usually bulky because they are designed to produce power at very low RPM making them suitable for use with windpower. Unfortunately that unit you have would require a LOT of horsepower which would in turn require a huge wind system with a VERY large sail in order to work at normal windspeeds. The RPM from the windmill would have to be increased to a point where the generator would work (although air could be compressed at a relatively low RPM) which would require a gearbox or pulley system either of which would waste even more of the available energy. This probably could be made to work but I am thinking the size of the sails required would be enormous.

Last edited by oldred; 06-10-2008 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 06-10-2008, 08:45 AM
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I read somewhere a Volvo engine was used for a air compressor with a waterfall...It didn't get technical enough to say where they took the air from Would you think just the spark plug holes letting some rpm to just
go along for the" ride"

I can fill a tank from my cars spark plug hole but there would be fuel too.

Time is not an issue...if it toook a week to put 125lbs in a 60 gallon tank from the wind .I'd be way happy
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Old 06-10-2008, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneMoreTime
To get a meaningful amount of air out of a windmill I think one would need to use a compressor of a large displacement turning real slow..Sam
If it runs to slow the splash lube system may not get oil up there though...
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milo
Time is not an issue...if it toook a week to put 125lbs in a 60 gallon tank from the wind .I'd be way happy

In that case you are right in business and that should be easy enough to do!

One problem I see that you might get into with that motor due to the size of the piston is that it would require so much torque to compress a cylinder full of air at 125 PSI you would have to gear it down so low it would lose too much air from piston ring bypass to be efficient enough to work, also it would be pumping unnecessarily slow at low pressure. What you could do would be to use the larger motor/pump for high volume/low pressure and then rig up a smaller compressor pump to kick in at higher pressure while at the same time dropping out the larger one. This smaller compressor pump could then be used for the higher pressure but at a much lower volume, kind of a two stage set-up. This may seem complicated at first but it probably would not be that hard to do since you will have the compressed air available to operate valves and cylinders.

Interesting idea keep us posted!
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:58 AM
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On Compressor tanks they have a one way valve on the inlet side so a automotive type compression tester should tell how much of a "puff" per rotation or PPR it could push in there at any rate .......leaving the original muffleron and open and takeair puff by puff from the one spark plug hole to the inlet side on a tank that has the PVC type valve ...






remember the peddle compressor idea?




I started this one out just wanting to use the generator/alternator part since it has the wiring all set for 110v ac or 12 V DC and just cut off the engine for another project but then started looking at getting some air out of it too..
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Old 06-10-2008, 01:25 PM
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what about going solar rather? if you got some 12v solar panals. wire them to a bank of golf cart batteries, wired in paralell, not series ( so the output is still 12v ).. you could then attach a low torque starter motor to the engine to spin it, wire the panals to the battery. the starter would turn the compressor pump , and you could take power from the batteries and invert it to 110V with an inverter.
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Old 06-13-2008, 03:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt167
what about going solar rather? if you got some 12v solar panals. wire them to a bank of golf cart batteries, wired in parallel, not series ( so the output is still 12v ).. you could then attach a low torque starter motor to the engine to spin it, wire the panels to the battery. the starter would turn the compressor pump , and you could take power from the batteries and invert it to 110V with an inverter.
I like the solar idea as well and use them to heat the pool, however the thing is the wind really whips up starting in the afternoons as the sun goes down,

A consideration is useing final drive from a BMW motorcycle to send rpms down a shaft from a palm tree I'm looking at useing for a tower.
They mostly fail at the splines and easy to find and play with...
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Old 11-26-2008, 05:50 AM
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ya know, it looks like 4 foot blades will do it...




http://www.airliftech.com/index.html

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Old 11-28-2008, 12:56 AM
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Interesting project!

Around here the wind is inconsistent and light at any reasonable height. I wonder if it would be an advantage to use smaller pistons like the tiny things in the emergency compressors that are powered from the cigar lighter in a car. A very small 12V DC motor drives a single piston in a typical such compressor. They can reach around 100 psi with very low volume, but use very little power.

A windmill can directly drive an alternator. Tap into that to drive 1 or more of the little compressors, the number being dependent on how much the windmill is putting out at any given instant, so that your air output varies with windspeed. The losses in such a system might be less than the mechanical losses in a compressor driven directly by the windmill.

There surely would be times when the wind was too light to turn a larger compressor over, directly, while still strong enough to turn the alternator enough to run 1 little electric compressor. At least a trickle of air coming most of the time might beat a larger volume of air that comes intermittently.
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