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ARS Home » Plains Area » Bushland, Texas » Conservation and Production Research Laboratory » Livestock Nutrient Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #182039


item Vick, Brian
item Clark, Ray

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2005
Publication Date: 7/1/2005
Citation: Vick, B.D., Clark, R.N. 2005. Performance and acoustic analysis of a small wind turbine used with a helical pump for livestock watering. In: Proceedings of the American Wind Energy Association: Windpower 2005, May 15-18, 2005, Denver, Colorado. p. 11. 2005 CDROM.

Interpretive Summary: For pumping depths in the 165 to 330 ft range, there has not been a reliable economical remote water pumping system for livestock. This paper demonstrated how using a helical pump with a small wind turbine resulted in pumping enough water to satisfy the water requirements of 150 cattle at a 165 ft pumping depth and 75 cattle at a 330 ft pumping depth (assumes 60 ft tower height and Amarillo wind resource). At a 240 ft pumping depth, a helical pump powered by a small wind turbine was shown to pump more water than a centrifugal pump powered by a small wind turbine or a piston pump powered by a mechanical windmill. The cost of this wind powered helical pump system (not including installation) is less than $6,000, and should require very little maintenance (unlike the high maintenance required on the mechanical windmill systems with piston pumps). No downtime has occurred with this wind powered helical pump system since testing began 1.5 years ago which implies that this water pumping system is also reliable. If a problem does develop like: very low winds for a long period of time, a failure of wind turbine, etc. – it is still possible to pump water with the helical pump by powering it with a single-phase AC 120 Volt gasoline generator. This feature will keep the farmer or rancher from having to haul water to the livestock. Having a dependable cost-effective water pumping system for livestock should make all farmers and ranchers more productive in their operations.

Technical Abstract: A helical pump powered by a small wind turbine with two different rotors (2.77 and 3 meter rotor diameters) was tested at 3 pumping depths (50, 75, and 100 meters). A high sound pressure level (SPL) of 70 to 85 decibels was produced for the 3 meter diameter wind turbine in the wind speed range of 10 to 16 meters/second (10 meter height), and the high SPL was caused by blade fluttering. A shorter (2.77 meter) blade rotor was tested and although high SPL was delayed to a higher wind speed, the wind turbine SPL still exceeded 80 decibels. The high SPL for both rotors could be prevented with a balancer load added to the control system. At a 75 meter pumping depth, the helical pump with a small wind turbine was shown to perform better than a centrifugal pump with a small wind turbine or a piston pump with a mechanical windmill.