With over a hundred years experience in supplying Australian farmers and pastoralists with Windmills we have a wealth of knowledge about pumping water. These are the answers to some of the more frequently asked questions we hear.

 
How long does a windmill last?
The design life of a windmill is between 20 to 40 years. However, well-maintained windmills have been known to last 70 to 80 years. Even after this time the machine is not finished as they are often re-conditioned and start their life over again.

What is the cost of maintenance?
No more than  $200.00 per year should be the target cost for any pumping system. Typically Windmills cost less than this. Over the life of the mill, a windmill could cost less than half of its nearest competitor. There are no running costs (electric power or diesel fuel) - the wind is free.

I thought windmills were expensive?
There are hundreds of thousands of windmills in use. Yet today Australia only produces about 1000 a year. The average age of windmills in Australia is older than their design life. They are getting tired and are badly in need of repair work. Spending $1,000.00 on these mills today would see them virtually maintenance free for the next 10 years. This is very cheap pumping.
 
Have windmills changed over the years?
Very little. The last major design change was back in 1933. Among other things this involved the introduction of replaceable bearings.  The major improvements of the last 10 years have involved the down-hole equipment. These have dramatically reduced the cost and regularity of maintenance.
 
Why use a windmill? Why not solar or diesel?
The level of technology is appropriate. That is, the windmill can be maintained by anyone. There is no need for electronic trade skills, and the running cost is nil. Being mechanical it is possible to keep a windmill working by tinkering with it. You can't do this with Electric / Electronic pumps.

What happens if the wind doesn't blow?
Wind droughts do occur, usually during the change of seasons This is a problem in the month before winter. It is always desirable to have a good storage - a tank that holds at least three days supply. In the old days windmills were also equipped with a Pump Jack. Today the answer is to fit an AC electric submersible below the windmill pump. The device that makes this possible is the By-Pass Valve.

How long does a windmill pump per day?
This can differ between areas. A rule of thumb is that the wind will blow for an average of 10 hours per day. In inland, and tropical regions this could be a little as 8 hours. Most windmill manufacturers quote figures based on 10 hours per day. Winds are usually best in Summer - The wind also blows at night, when the sun does not shine.

How important is tower height?
The golden rule is "the windwheel must be 5 Metres above any obstruction within 100 Metres. The greater the height the smoother the airflow, which means the windmill will last longer.

What is the difference between a 3 post and 4 post tower?
3-Post Towers save cost. But a 4-Post Tower is stronger and has more room below the Tower in which to work. For most wind conditions a 3-Post Tower is strong enough.

What windspeeds can a windmill handle?
The normal operating windspeed is 7.0 metres per second (25 kph). The start up windspeed is 3.5 metres per second, and the maximum windspeed is 45 metres per second.  In a Cyclone it is often not the windspeed that does damage, it is turbulence created by obstructions and trees around the site that causes the problem.

Are windmills easy to install?
The Windmill is supplied in a kit form - like a Meccano set, each component bolts to the next. It is possible to install a windmill without having previous experience, but most choose to use a contractor who is experienced at this work. Refer our contacts page for a list of qualified contractors. 

Are windmills safe?
Any machine can be dangerous, and safety is always an issue. Basic precautions such as safety belts (harness) and correct work wear, along with regular maintenance will make working on a windmill safe. Statistically, windmills are the least dangerous of all farm machinery, and much safer than some of the high voltage electrical and electronic systems being offered as alternatives. Experienced windmill contractors will also eliminate all worries about safety - most work on pumps is below the ground, and safety is not an issue there.

How much does a windmill cost?
From $4,000 up to $13,000, depending on the size, and how much water is required, and how far the water is to be pumped. The average is $ 5,500.

What is the Poly-Rod borehole system?
The best thing to happen to windmills in 100 years. It is a Plastic based Column & Rod system that eliminates corrosion and maximises the life of the Pump seals (Cups).

What is a By-Pass valve?
This is a device that fits below the windmill pump and above an electric submersible pump. It allows water to be fed into the windmill pump without passing through the submersible. It therefore reduces the drag on the windmill pump.