Windtamer wind turbines

Though the Windtamer looks more like an outdoor PA speaker than a windmill, it's  inventor is claiming it has much higher efficiencies  than the traditional propeller type wind turbines.
Though the Windtamer looks more like an outdoor PA speaker than a windmill, it’s inventor is claiming it has much higher efficiencies than the traditional propeller type wind turbines.

We live in a breezy area- if you like to fly kites, we have some open space in our back yard that is ideal for you. Much of this area is embroiled in discussions about large commercial wind turbines, which are very controversial and has pitted neighbor against neighbor as the rules are being hammered out. Recently, our friends Lynda and Bob Dobberstein of Abner Adams House B&B revealed that they were in the process of getting a small wind turbine that can power their house. They are in the village of Bloomfield, NY, with neighbors they like, so clearly they were not planning a tall tower and turbine. It turns out that they are going to be one of the early installations of the Windtamer turbines, which uses some new technologies to overcome many of the problems of traditional propeller-driven turbines.

We were invited to a “show and tell” open house at the “Windtamer”: facility in Geneseo, about 1 1/2 hours from us, near Letchworth State Park. The little warehouse was full of people getting information on the units- clearly there is a lot of interest in wind power. We ended up in conversation with the inventor and CEO of Windtamer, Jerry Brock. Jerry is pretty animated when talking about his product, and the progress they are making as they roll into production. He is also familiar with the Penn Yan area, and thinks that our wind patterns are well suited to small wind turbines. They offer a turn-key installation- they not only do all the site prep, installation, and utility hook-up, they handle the permit process as well.

The Windtamer is attractive on several levels. It boasts higher efficiencies due to the unique shroud and propeller. The shroud also eliminates bird/bat strikes. The turbine uses many short blades, which helps it to run silently. The installation is on a relatively short pier, and no guy-wires are needed (much easier to mow around). The Windtamer also claims to be able to run in any wind condition- it is producing a steady stream of electricity when most turbines have to shut down to protect the generator. A definite plus is that Jerry Brock is a local guy with a great idea, and he is keeping the company local. A company using new technology, environmentally beneficial, creating jobs in the area- what is not to like!

Winter projects

The B&B has pace that varies throughout the year- in the spring, as the weather warms, the focus is on cleanup of the grounds, outdoor maintenance, and landscaping. Through summer, any time not consumed by B&B operations (breakfast prep, serve and cleanup, turning over rooms, checking guests in or out) is all outdoors with landscape maintenance, pool, and construction. Autumn starts to allow more time for light indoor projects and the outdoor work is mostly cleanup and pruning. Winter is the time when the big indoor projects get done.

In the past we gutted and rebuilt the apartment that is our private residence as a winter project. We’ve remodeled rooms, the patio, and bathrooms while the snow flew. Winter has had its own challenges for construction. Cutting open walls to install windows when it is -9̊ F outside. Cutting tile when the spray is making icicles on the saw. Last year we hand mixed concrete for piers on a raw 18̊ F day.

This year we are going to try to avoid the big dusty jobs and work on some finishing touches- Susan wants to add some lighting in the living room by making a valance bar over the window. We have had the metal ceiling in the patio on our hit list for some time- it is coming down to be replaced by bead board that is white. And the big project is a series of stained glass windows to go in the transom windows in the patio.

Stay tuned- we will have details on the projects and see how they come out!

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