The plan: Build a VAWT to assist in pumping water from a well to a cistern. I live in a coastal area famous for "bad well water", but actually my well provides me with fabulous water, just not a lot of it (~3.5gal/min). I could easily drill a new, larger well; however, the chances of getting good quality water from it are slim. Other neighbors have deeper wells with substantially more volume; however, the quality is not great (a mixture of sulfur, Iron and salt). There are filtration systems to deal with the various water quality problems, but they all have problems. In the end, the "best water" comes from just below the "hard-pan" (~40ft down) in a layer of "coquina". The "coquina" effectively filters impurities; however, water moves slowly through it. A bit further down and water is more plentiful but has considerably more iron and sulfur. Even further down water becomes more and more plentiful; however, these aquifers are high in sodium. So, the answer for me is not a bigger or deeper well, but rather attempting to get more water from my existing well. The best way to do this is remove a large volume of water over a longer period of time and store it for later use. And this is phase one.
Phase One: This phase involves the infrastructure. I purchased a 550 gallon cistern and have constructed a two-story building to house the cistern, the high-pressure pump and other associate apparatus. The building is designed to be the base for my VAWT, giving it an initial height of 16ft. The base for the VAWT will extend from the roof of the building much like a chimney. The "chimney" will extend the VAWT to a base height of 35ft. (The building itself is 8ft x 8ft x 16ft.) The construction of the building includes a steel reinforced concrete footing with two courses of concrete filled block then 2x6 wall construction bolted to the foundation. I designed the roofing system (and the entire building) to support the stresses of the VAWT and the weight of the 550 gallon water tank.
The primary goal of phase one is to build the infrastructure for the remainder of the project while maintaining an uninterrupted domestic water supply (wife really is very intolerant about the absence of water). At this point the structural aspects of the building are complete, and most of the primary plumbing is complete. The existing well system is still intact. In this system there are three redundancies: 1) The cistern is filled once a defined amount of water has been drawn from it by the existing well system. 2) Should the cistern be drained past a certain point, or the high-pressure//high-volume pump fail, the existing well system will provide pressurized water to the system 3) Provisions for filling the cistern using a VAWT powered pump are in place.
Looking forward to phase two: Phase two is to build the VAWT and Pump and incorporate it into the existing system. The initial design of the VAWT will be an Ed Lenz variant. Three 2-meter "wings" on a 1.5 meter radius. The pump will be a direct-drive double-acting piston type. Sizing the pump bore and stroke is a subject I am worrying over. Obviously I am looking for high-torque // low-RPM, but I have serious reservations about "starting torque" preventing the VAWT from ever starting. Everything in me wants to gear the VAWT output shaft down to ensure a smooth start-up, but I really want to avoid this complication. In the end, until I build the wings and test them there is simply nothing but hopes and conjectures. Anyway, I thought I would report. Sadly I am not reporting the completion of the VAWT, that part of the project is still in the future.