The Principle of the Windmill
The Power behind the Engine
The toy pin wheel is a windmill in miniature. The wind strikes the sails, and causes rotation; and the stronger the wind blows, the faster will the wheel rotate. In windmills, the sails are of wood or steel, instead of paper, but the principle is identical.
As the wheel rotates, its motion is communicated to a mechanical device which makes use of it to raise and lower a plunger, and hence as long as the wind turns the windmill, water is raised. The water thus raised empties into a large tank, built either in the windmill tower or in the garret of the house, and from the tank the water flows through pipes to the different parts of the house. On very windy days the wheel rotates rapidly, and the tank fills quickly; in order to guard against an overflow from the tank a mechanical device is installed which stops rotation of the wheel when the tank is nearly full. The supply tank is usually large enough to hold a supply of water sufficient for several days, and hence a continuous calm of a day or two does not materially affect the house flow. When once built, a windmill practically takes care of itself, except for oiling, and is an efficient and cheap domestic possession.
FIG. - The windmill pumps water into the tank.