I have decided that my next yard project is going to be a decorative windmill. I am NOT going to pump water or generate electricity with the windmill, I just want it to turn in the wind and look nice. It will be (approx) three feet in diameter and be around ten feet off the ground.

I live in a tree filled part of Atlanta, Georgia, which means that the wind will be pretty low.

There seem to be two options - a three blade system, which will generate a high rpm, as detailed here Wind Generator or the traditional farmer's windmill,

From what I've read, both options assume a load of some sort, either a generator or a water pump, and a high wind. I will have no load on the mill and poor wind.

Does anyone know which of these will work better in a low wind, no load situation? My goal is to have the blades turn as much of the time as possible.

  • 4
    Seems awfully subjective. This is about it "looking nice", right? Jun 29, 2012 at 14:09
  • Good point - I clarified the goal. Jun 29, 2012 at 14:48
  • If there's no load, and the axle/bearings are efficient, then it's likely purely an aesthetic call.
    – DA01
    Jun 29, 2012 at 17:25
  • All the traditional ones I saw in Holland had 4 blades. Knock your socks off and have as many as you want!!! Jun 29, 2012 at 23:35


Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.