Wind Power Pros And Cons

Ken asks…

What are the Pros and cons for both coal burning power stations and wind turbines?

Describe briefly how each of these methods generates electricity. And evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each method.

Windmill Farms answers:

As far as I can tell there are no positives for wind factories. They are expensive, destroy the natural environment (which is rich when you consider all the greenies who are in favour of these things), are inefficient, rely on the vagaries of the wind blowing within a certain speed range, and the subsidies for them are in part responsible for our electricity bills soaring all the time. When it’s really cold and we need the energy for heat, the wind factories stop because there is no wind.

Coal, on the other hand, at least produces electricity in the quantities we need and is not reliant upon the weather.

The best option at the moment is nuclear.

Sandy asks…

What is the best hunting rifle caliber to buy?

Wondering what people think would be the most versatile rifle caliber to buy. 300 win mag, .308, 30-06, 7mm? pros and cons? Brand rifle? Need to stay under $1000.00

Windmill Farms answers:


I am along time Alaskan hunter, trapper, certified Alaskan Hunter Safety Instructor – and rifle instructor.

They do not make one rifle that does it all. If they did, my wife would have bought me one 30 years ago and sold the other two dozen in the safe.

“Best” rifle depends on what your skills are. Example, I shoot NRA Highpower Rifle – this is 200, 300 and 600 yard competition with open sights – no scope. With a scope – I can put 4 rounds inside the same hole at 200 yards and easily hit coffee cup sized targets at 600. I use a 338 Win Mag when hunting ……… But I did not learn to shoot or train on that 338…….. It would have been way too expensive and put me in the hospital from recoil.

Likewise – if you are not an expert or master level shooter – buying a 300WinMag, 7mm Mag or 30-06 is not going to make you a better shot. You are not going to spend long afternoons at the range shooting box after box of ammo and watch your scores get better by the hour. About the only thing you will accomplish is give yourself a terrible case of flinch, damage your shoulder, and empty your wallet.

What you need is two rifles. Something lite like a 223 or 243 for practice, and, a 300 Win Mag for serious work. Just the money you save in 300Win Mag ammo will easily pay for the second rifle after 2 or 3 years. No doubt you can get a discount buying two identical rifles and scopes. This gives you one light rifle for long range practice – and this lighter rifle will allow you to learn to shoot long distance better because it is effected by wind more – and let you cheaply apply what you learn to the bigger rifle.

As to caliber. Depends where you plan on going the next 20 years. If you never, ever, going to visit Alaska – you will find the 7mm Mag is flat shooting and has all the power you will ever need. If you do plan to some day visit Alaska – then go for the 300 Win Mag. If you are never going to hunt brown bear in the lower 48 – the 308 is the most pefect caliber – but, you will want the added energy of the 30-06 for a lower 48 brown bear. (Alaskan brown bears are much, much bigger than lower 48 due to diet so you need a bigger gun)

Bottom line. You have a choice. Three years from now you can be an awesome shot and own two rifles. Or, you can be a lousy shot like most of your hunting buddies, own one rifle, and have 400-500 rounds of empty highpower rifle brass. (The up side to a 243 vs the 223 is the 243 is an exceptional back up deer rifle. Up side to the 223 over the 243 – the 223 is less expensive to shoot and provides you with an exceptional varmint rifle and a good deer rifle)

Hope this helps. I have owned all of the above rifle mentioned. They all have a place in the scheme of hunting. Feel free to email me if you have more questions.


James asks…

whats the pros and cons for a family of 5 making the new home solar power?

we are looking at solar power for our new land, are you a family of 5? have you done this before, thanks.

Windmill Farms answers:

Hey Hotmumma, I applaud you for looking into solar power. In my experience, when you look into solar power, the one thing there is an abundance of is misinformation.

We live in a home that has been powered by the wind and sun for 10 years now. Our solar array fits quite nicely on the space provided by our one car carport, it generates 1.4 kilowatts during peak sun, and does not need thousands of square feet of space. Our entire system, including the wind turbine, battery bank and other electronics costs less than $15,000 USD. After state incentives, tax deductions and the small amount we receive selling carbon credits to industry, our cost is just under $10,000. We do have a small, efficient home, just under 1,200 square feet, but the point is clear, you don’t need to mortgage your sisters second home to pay for it. We still have the utility company here, but our monthly bills average about $6. I would estimate our payback at 10 to 12 years, but that is not the main reason we did all of this.

Last year, there were two power failures in our county, each lasting about half a day. In both cases, we were not aware of them. It’s difficult to put a price tag on something like that. There is also the fact that when we do a load of laundry, or run the TV, we are not adding CO2 to the air and mercury to the water because our power is not sourced from a coal power plant. In a few years,we plan on replacing one of our cars with a plug in hybrid, which will charge from our solar array once we add a few more panels to it, at a cost of about $1,000. This will allow us to have transportation in town with virtually no environmental footprint, or any need to buy gasoline.

Beyond our own personal benefits, having a solar powered home has made us the defacto expert on the field in our town. To that end, we started running solar power seminars at our local school several years ago. We spend an hour or so with the 5th graders in school, hooking up a panel, battery, and some small loads so they can learn how it works. Then they run a field trip out to our place to see a working solar powered home first hand. Our hope is that in several more years, they will grow up to persue the same thing you are today.

Powering your home from solar power requires more than mere technology however, it requires some lifestyle changes. People who grow their own tomatoes know a great deal about soil, watering, bugs and sunlight because they have to. Even though it might be cheaper to buy them at the store, they go to the trouble to maintain a garden. People who grow their own electrons instead of buying them at the power company have a similar curse. They have to know where each one goes in their home. When you power your home from renewable sources, there is no such thing as an, “Average House,” or “Standard Size Panel.” Every situation is different. No matter how well you plan your system, or how many contingencies you allow for, there will always be a day where you have a shortage of power. Most solar homeowners I know have a generator for just such a shortage, but they work hard to run it as little as possible. Like I said, it’s a lifestyle, and only you can decide if it’s right for you. What I would suggest is you do some more research, beyond asking people who have never tried it for advice over the internet. First get a subscription to Home Power Magazine, the only periodical devoted to these things. Then check out some of the non profit groups I have listed below. Learn what you can, try to make it to one of the renewable energy fairs in your area. In the end you might decide not to get involved at all, and that’s fine. At least you will be well informed. Good luck, and take care, Rudydoo

Laura asks…

What are the pros and cons of painting using a brush vs spray?

We are having some wood cabinets built for us and are trying to decide whether to spray paint them vs. conventional brush painting. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each method? Also, what type of paint do you suggest be used?

Windmill Farms answers:

Spray painting, when done carefully, gives you uniform coverage without the lap marks you get from brush painting. It’s also faster. I spray painted my shutters (with a Wagner Power Painter) a few years ago, and it made short work of them. However, I also took them down and used a tarp to catch the overspray, which leads me to the disadvantages.

Spray painting always has an overspray problem. You have to use something to catch it, and you have to work in a well ventilated area, preferably outdoors. If you are outdoors, though, you have wind and wind-blown debris to worry about. I use my garage, with the door open, and that works well when the wind is not blowing in. It’s also tricky to get good coverage without drips and runs. You need to keep the sprayer head at least 18″ from the working surface, and spray using smooth, uniform strokes. If you have never used a sprayer before, practice on some scrap wood before you try it on your cabinets.

You can get good results with a brush if you’re patient and careful. For cabinets, I wouldn’t use anything wider than 3″, and it’s worth it to get good (i.e., not cheap) brushes. Thin the paint a little for best results, and lightly sand between coats with 240 to 400 grit sandpaper.

Whether or not you use a brush or a sprayer, I recommend an oil-based enamel that can stand up to moisture and is washable. Satin and semi-gloss paints give the best appearance for interior woodwork. As to a particular brand, there is not too much difference among them. Benjamin Moore is a good brand, as is Home Depot’s Behr brand. You will want a primer coat first, followed by the finish of your choice. For wet areas, I like a product called Kilz as a primer, as it’s moisture and mold resistant, and it covers blemishes and discolorations well.

Mandy asks…

what were some naval lessons that resulted from the American Civil War (both good and bad)?

I have a few technological encouragements, as well as blockading pros (and cons, i.e. cost)

but i was unsure if there were any other lessons that were learned, related to the navy?

Windmill Farms answers:

Ironclad based ships basically became the new template for future ships. Ships are no longer wind dependant since they got steam power. Navy provided bombardments to costal forts just before land assault. Thats all i could think of off the top of my head.

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