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Old 07-13-2010, 08:48 AM   #7
You rode a what to where?
Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Western NC
Oddometer: 1,226
Originally Posted by bosco
If I recall correctly the reason Austrailians use air to pump water is that it's easy to store air, but you're more limited w/ electricity.

My current thought is 1,000 gal propane tank plumbed into wind-generated compressed air w/ a small electric back-up.
Right. You'd store the energy as compressed air, hence my statement:

Originally Posted by gmiguy
I'd be inclined to go with an off-the-shelf wind-powered electric generator running an off-the-shelf electric compressor with a big and well-sealed tank.
My point was that I'd pursue this using electricity as an intermediate step to get the energy from the wind to the air in the tank.

Wind----->Electricity----->Compressed air
rather than
Wind----->Compressed air

Think about it, diesel locomotives don't use the diesel engines to drive the wheels directly. The engine spins a generator which then drives electric motors to spin the wheels. Same idea.

Yes, this is theoretically less efficient since you will lose energy making the transformation to and from electricity. I suspect the additional flexibility and control will be more than worth it; plus you can use existing off-the-shelf parts rather than reinventing the wheel.
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