Windpump Repair and restoration

The POLDAW windpump or windmill is now over 5 years.  Of late it is giving a lot of trouble when at a time my team is gone into comfort zone. However I love my windpump.  The more I wanted that to be up and running, the more it sucks.  It is a challenge and I am prepared for fight.

My objective is to put this back in action with lot of water pumping. And perhaps showcase it for future business.  This will be for higher end customers and my own verticle axis windmill that I am designing for low end customers. That’s the idea.

The windmill with one tooth missing

Recently few months hence, one by one the bolt/nut had unscrewed itself and started falling down. A large bolt from the main rotor fell down, luckily no one was there. Windpump without load is a monster and rotates faster. Recently last week it broke one of its wings on its own and that wing fell on the water tank splicing it. Luckily again no one was there.

I declared it unsafe and given clear directions to Subbu. The more it breaks, more we resolve ourselves to repair it.  Following are attempts.

a) I called on an agency (Vista telecom networks) through known contacts for help. They have trained riggers (certified tower climbers) who maintain cell phone towers. A person came from Tirunelveli by bus for inspection, Subbu picked him up.  He climed the tower and went back without quoting anything. Two days of followup with his supervisor had no results. They were just now answering phone. perhaps they were not interested in this small job. Or found it odd job to do. They obliged to come only because i took help of a common friend who is their client.

Closer examination shows, the cut is not due to
any bird strike or object impact. It is due to sheer
rotational tear apart force. Not due to rust either.
Just a high velocity object torn.

b) Crane is an option to reach the windpump quickly. To my suprise, there is a crane operator in Nanguneri,10 Kms away. It costs Rs. 5000/- for half day including crane charge, bucket fitting and transport and driver bata. However that is an option I want to use only when we are fully ready with all tools.

The broken wing

c) Our default option was to climb ourselves. Earlier I had already purchased and sent online two numbers of body harness. Subbu likes it. I feel safe if they wear it while climbing.

Subbu and one more boy Ramesh who is experienced in this. However he had a sprain and we had to wait for a month. The boy had become more mature and demanding more money. That however is working. The couple had so far applied crease, fixed the loose bolts.  But the propeller wing that is broken need to be removed for a welding shop. While the broken wing is with us, the nut from the frame is not coming easily. It is at an inaccessible distance with ordinary spanner.   I asked Subbu to purchase a cross bar wrench tool.  Subbu went to Valliyoor and the shop which generally had everything did not have this one. they ordered to Madurai for stock and one week later got it.

d) Windspeed is very high. They are waiting for it to slow down so that we can tie the windpump rotor and do the work. If load is given to windpump, it is unlikely it will break down like this. The wing had broken only due to high velocity wind and the rotating speed.  This reminds me of the danger the propeller aircrafts would have faced during world wars.

e)  One of the favourite pending requirement is making a ladder to climb the tower. The thought of climbing the tower should make Subbu weary. A ladder will make climbing cool.  As per a local garriage, a ladder of 45 feet costs 20,000/- to make.  I rejected. Asked Subbu to find cheaper alternative. After several days and months, now the bill would be around 10K.  It requies 7.5 pipes of 20 feet to make a 50 feet ladder. Same pipe for side and rungs.  I asked Subbu to purchase material in one place and make it in another workshop only paying labor charges. That seems to work.  However Subbu is yet to hit the road. perhaps with ladder in place, next time, the tower maintenance would be a pleasure.

Coconut tree

Newly planted jasmine. Around 3 months old.

2 thoughts on “Windpump Repair and restoration

  1. Anonymous

    It seems we need to have periodic maintenance to avoid failures. But for periodic maintenance, we also need trained team.Even the submersible borewell with trained team requires 5,000 Rs for taking the motor and reinstalling. Additionally for periodic maintenance we need to spend approx. 5,000 to 10,000 every two year.


  2. Anonymous

    You are very much right. The expense is much above that. You are only talking of borewell pump. But the pipes used above the ground also get worn out due to outside temperature. Purchasing pipe is regular affair.



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