|Air Force Vet Converts Silos to Low-Cost Wind Turbines for Small Farms|
A U.S. Air Force veteran from Arkansas has won a chunk of funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a new venture called Agri Wind Turbines, to develop a low-cost wind turbine that uses compressed air funneled from existing or new silos.
The idea is to provide small- and medium-sized farms with access to affordable wind power, especially in regions where “free-range” wind conditions are not ideal for conventional wind turbines.
Small Farms, Big Wind Power
He anticipates that a vertical axis wind turbine design would provide enough energy for most of a typical small or mid-sized farm’s electricity needs. The grid connection would come into play in cases where the turbine generates excess energy, which the farmer could sell back to the local utility.
Another rural energy program that could come into play is AgStar, under which the Obama Administration has been encouraging livestock farmers to install energy-saving manure-to-biogas equipment.
Yep, We Built This!
That includes participating in the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC) Federal and State Technology mentoring program, and winning a Technology Transfer Assistance Grant from the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority in 2011.
The Technology Transfer grant has gone to support Brown’s market research, and the USDA grant of $100,000 is being used to test the feasibility of the technology through computer modeling.
For Brown, the rewards of success will not only be a benefit to him. He’ll also be able to realize a personal goal of helping more of his fellow state residents build careers in Arkansas, both in agriculture and in the wind power sector.
That sounds like something presidential candidate Mitt Romney might want to consider if he ever wonders whether reformulating his position on wind power might be a good idea.
As Brown explained in a recent article for ASBTDC:
Source: GO MEDIA: Written by TINA CASEY