wind heat

1 Posts
Feb 24, 2001 12:18 pm
wind heat

is there any way to harness wind  generation direct to some sort of resistans wire to make only heat .regardlessof fluctuating wind/amps/voltage
herein alberta very cold but almost always 7-12 mph wind
even a little exra freeish heat would be great now our gas and power is deregulated .prices are soaring?? solar cell ok but at night no sun ??
day we use passive sun heat, it is sunny alberta
regards bruce jones
3 Posts
Feb 25, 2001 10:09 pm
Re: wind heat

Yes there is a way to do this. I have been looking into this myself, since this winter it seems to be very windy here in the Ottawa valley.

Using either solar PV or wind generators, the question is what to do when you don't need any more power, i.e the batteries are fully charged. Solar PV arrays can be disconnected via the charge controller (fancy name for a regulator), but Wind generators should be never be removed from a load. If you did disconnnect the load, it would spin to fast and damage itself. Therefore a different kind of regulator is required. This is called a diversion regulator. When there is excess power (the voltage rises past the set point) it diverts the power to an alternate load usually a resistive heating device.

Now if all you want is heat, forget the regulator, batteries etc. and connect directly to the resistive load. The Whisper generators (and maybe others, I haven't reserched this to far) produce a "wild AC" (meaning the frequency varies wildly) at 208VAC 3 phase. This is intended to be transformed and rectified, but it could be connected directly to a separate (from grid AC power) water heater for example.

Hope this helps

1 Posts
Apr 16, 2001 11:31 am
Re: wind heat

hi alan
thanks info.but with lowish voltage/winds how would the current overcome the resistance to create heat,unless one has various resistances set into circuits for voltages, then how to shunt them to correct circuits for best heat result.or am i being obtuse
regards bruce
3 Posts
Apr 21, 2001 06:06 pm
Re: wind heat


Withe the simplistic approach I suggested, the greater problem is what to do with to much power, not the lack of it.

If you used an old water heater as a preheater buy connecting the AC output of the wind generator, (the ones that produce 240V wild AC), any amount of current would produce some heat. If for example the heater had 3000W elements, then it is rated for a max amperage of (3000/240) 12.5 Amps. However, if you only produced 5 amps, then you would only have 1200 Watts to produce heat.

If your generator produced more amps than the element is rated for, then the voltage would rise and cause problems, probably burning out the elements. You could wire the elements together for a limit of 25A.

This is just for direct wind energy to heat. If you put up a wind generator, why not use the electricity for poering your house. In this case, you would have batteries, an inverter, etc. You could use a diversion shunt to divert any excess power into your water preheater.

These are my thoughts, anyone else care to comment?


1 Posts
Jun 9, 2001 08:19 am
Re: wind heat

I am very interested in the direct heat and you seem up to date on it. Is there another source for this type of info? that you know of? THANKS

1 Posts
Jun 28, 2001 10:43 pm
Re: wind heat

>hi  is there any way to
>harness wind  generation direct to
>some sort of resistans wire to
>make only heat .regardlessof fluctuating wind/amps/voltage
>herein alberta very cold but almost
>always 7-12 mph wind even a
>little exra freeish heat would be
>great now our gas and power
>is deregulated .prices are soaring?? solar
>cell ok but at night no
>sun ??  day we use
>passive sun heat, it is sunny
>alberta regards bruce jones

Do a web search for "wind furnces". I have a wind power book that has some articles on it. There are 2 basic styles, one being elec. and the other being friction. The friction style involves
a spinning disk in a container of fluid. The spining disk is very close to a fixed disk with the fluid in between, the movement of the disk in the fluid creates friction. This heats the water and the heated water is pumped to where you want it. You can use a elec. or mech. pump to move the water or if you design it right it will pump itself.

I have also seen disscusions at or its sister site that attaches magnets to the spinning disk and relies on eddy currents in the fixed disk to produce heat.

"" is a good place to ask questions and share experiences with alternative energy.

Let me know if want more discriptive info.


16 Posts
Feb 23, 2002 09:14 pm
Re: wind heat

I too am interested in trying to get heat from a windmill. Recently purchased 2   H-40 windmills. One doesn,t have the controler.  Was wondering if I could connect the one without the controler directly to a hot water heater. Would I use the 120 volt heating elements? I have hot water heat and figured maybe I could connect the hotwater heater inline with my furnace and let the circulating pump circulate the water that was heated this way. My furnace also heats my tapwater hotwater so I have to run furnace all year to have hot water. If this works for heating maybe I could get a seperate waterheater for summer use. The heating system had antifreeze in it so couldn,t use same waterheater for tap water as one used for heating purposes. Does anyone think this would work?   Vic
39 Posts
Apr 25, 2002 12:11 pm
Re: wind heat

Bruce, Alan has the right idea. A diversion load is what is mainly used. A bank of resistors, usually mounted on a heat sink, can serve as this load and will produce heat that can be harnessed using fans, as can an electrical water heater elements which must be submerged in order not to overheat and fry out. But as Alan said a diversion to a useful load is best, as long as it is something that constantly has a draw of current and is properly switched once the diversion load is available.
3 Posts
Sep 28, 2007 04:29 pm
Re: wind heat

Hi Alan,

I know this is a really old discussion but I was wanting to get in touch with you regarding solar power in the Ottawa valley.  I'm building a house in Wakefield Quebec and I wanted to talk to some local people about solar in the region.  Please email me if you get this message @ seancollins99 @
take care
11 Posts
Nov 22, 2007 07:06 pm
Re: wind heat

Hi Sean, I'm not too far from you, I'm from the Catskill Mountains of New York. The Air-X wind generator has a heat sink on it to protect the circuits inside.

The heat in my house I harness, my stove makes the house 5 times hotter when cooking. This summer during the endless heatwave due to Global Warming, I put up a curtain to block the heat, and not only did my house cool down, but I saved a lot of money.

It's insulation, that is the key. In the summer turn down the thermostat, in the winter put on a seater and sweatpants. Last month, October, my electricity bill was only 25$. If you want to go about a green way of creating heat, well I suggest you insulate yourself with clothing, close the windows and curtains, and if thats not enough -then use an electric heater. I rarely use heat, especially now, but it's just been soo hot and so above normal. Today was 60*F, when the normal temperature should have been 39*F, global warming effects us Northern people the most.

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