We’ve been on our farm for 22 years this coming March. Sustainability (and prepping) is a long slow process as you might have discovered, especially if you believe in paying as you go. Charlie and I are hands on in all aspects of our farm, and nearly all of our interests, hobbies, and passions are sustainability oriented …..well, except for Charlie’s golf game! So, in addition to funding our projects, we also have to ‘do our thing’ when time allows us… (slowly but surely, this is becoming a shared reality…but that’s another blog for another day!)
Last year, we began investing into alternative energy sourcing for the farm. After some serious thought, and a newly formed friendship with Be-Wind founder, Michael Berdan, we decided to invest in a wind turbine. Although I was fond of the concept of wind energy, I had read so much negative press about the odd noises and frequencies coming from the traditional turbines (you know, the ones that look like giant propellers), along with the death of birds who fly into the constantly moving propellers, that I was fearful of having one on our property. And frankly, the traditional ones are not that pretty anyway. When we met Michael Berdan last year at the Mother Earth News Fair in Belton, Texas we were both enamored and smitten by the concept, look, and product. In late April of 2016, we began the installation of “Windy” as we affectionately like to call our newest farm-hand.
“Windy” still a work in progress, and Michael is tweaking our system for residential / rural farm use. However, even with improvements on the horizon, we are very very pleased with our investment. This system is SILENT. I mean, even in 40-50mph winds (which we get on a semi regular basis in North Texas)…. this girl does her job with not even a whistle. Her turns and twists are mesmerizing… especially at night. And unless a bird is flying with its eyes closed, there is no chance of death by propeller! Michael has Windy hooked up to a small solar battery so that we have an amazing light show for about 4 hours at night that is nearly identical to the one shown here . We have purchased backup batteries, with the intent to both upgrade and expand in coming years. Backup batteries come in all types, and we are eventually investing in “lifetime” batteries when the time is right. As for now, the batteries will supply at least part of our home with electricity should the grid AND wind die simultaneously. The batteries are also constantly recharged when the wind exceeds our household needs.
Unlike the traditional propeller turbines, Be-Wind turbines are designed to turn at low wind speeds of 3-4 mph, and they are capable of bearing winds that are up to tornado intensity.
I’ll be honest, these turbines are not inexpensive, but if you are looking for a product that will produce energy with very little maintenance, you won’t be disappointed! We don’t drive fancy trucks, and we use reclaimed materials whenever we can, but there are some things you just don’t scrimp on… and this is one of them.
If you give Michael a call, just tell him you read about his turbines here! This is not a paid endorsement, but I’d like him to know that we are appreciating his invention.
Prep on friends! ~ liz