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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.

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    Seems awfully subjective. This is about it "looking nice", right? – The Evil Greebo Jun 29 '12 at 14:09
  • Good point - I clarified the goal. – Steve French Jun 29 '12 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 '12 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!!! – shirlock homes Jun 29 '12 at 23:35

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