Recommendations for wind air compressor?

Steven LakeSteven Lake Solar Expert Posts: 402 ✭✭
Okay, I'm at the point that I will soon be looking to replace our compressor for shop work, and it happened to dawn on me that a few fellow farmers north of me have smaller 50ft air compressor windmills that compliment their larger 100ft power generating mills that they use for generating compressed air for use in the shop and around the farm.  Our maximum working pressure we need is about 120psi (air tools), with I think one tool that'll run at 120, but prefers 150psi.   We presently have a 120gallon 2 phase twin cylinder we use, and it works fine on the current solar/wind hybrid system we built for the barn (solar alone turned out to not be enough to keep up with demand), but if I could go entirely wind powered on the air compressor, that'd take a big load off the system, and give me something a little greener to work with.:)

I haven't settled on what tank this will have, but it won't be the old one as that's old enough I'm not sure I wanna trust it much past the couple of months of life the compressor itself has in it.  I don't figure it'll go pop anytime soon, but once the compressor goes, I figure that the whole unit itself will be ready for the recycle pile, tank and all.  I've considered hooking up the brand new 500 gallon propane tank behind the barn and using that as my air tank as that has a max working pressure of 250psi and a burst pressure of over 400psi.  We bought it two years ago in the fall and then ended up not using it.  I know I've got fittings that'd allow me to use it as an air tank, so that's not a problem.

Anyhow, what's your thoughts?  What would you recommend as a wind powered compressor, possibly usable on a 50ft mast tower, and my idea to maybe re-purpose the propane tank for holding compressed air?  And before anyone screams, no, it has no propane in it.  We bought it new, never purged, never filled, and it's remained that way.  In fact, it still has the valve cap on it from the factory. ^_^;;  Anyhow, I'd greatly appreciate your thoughts.  I've done some looking around myself, but since I'm pretty much clueless in this area, I'm deferring to your wisdom on this. :)


  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 3,854 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Have you considered alternatives to using compressed air as air tools are VERY inefficient. See link.
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery with Battery Bodyguard BMS 
    Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery with Daly BMS, used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.  
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
  • Steven LakeSteven Lake Solar Expert Posts: 402 ✭✭
    edited January 2017 #3
    Well, I've been looking into battery powered tools and I've seen the trend moving that way.  IE, away from air towards batteries.  But for now we're heavily invested in air tools.  So I need to keep something in our system for running the air tools for now.  Although, as the tools wear out I may start moving towards the battery powered alternatives as they become what I would consider more mature.  Well, and less costly.  My gawds, a battery powered nailer for example costs as much as 5 times that of an air powered one, and that's just the bare tool!!
  • Steven LakeSteven Lake Solar Expert Posts: 402 ✭✭
    Also, I was doing some math on this tonight, and I realized that really, if we replace the compressor setup we have now with an air compressor windmill and include my idea for using the propane tank as an extra large storage tank, it'll actually work out for us in the long run and be cheaper.  Sure, the up front cost is gonna bite, but at the rate we'd use it, the system would very quickly pay for itself.  Not to mention it'd take a big load off the power system in the barn.  So I guess I'm back to the idea of getting that wind powered air compressor windmill.  Now the question again goes back to, which one is best?
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