Operation Basics

The operation of a windmill is a relatively simple concept that uses the wind in order to operate the pumping cylinder underground and bring water to the surface. By converting the rotary motion of the windmill wheel into a steady up and down pumping stroke, the piston-pump underneath the windmill in the water table underground will push the water upwards towards the surface. The modern water-pumping windmill has gone through very little evolution in the past century and serves as a testament to its perfect design.

Video Courtesy of The American Wind Power Center

Capturing the Energy of the Wind

When the windmill is turned on, the mill orients into the wind in order to capture the renewable energy in the wind and turn the blades on the windmill wheel. As the wheel spins, it turns the mechanical gears in the motor which then lifts and lowers the pumping rod or “sucker rod” at the base of the motor. This up and down pumping stroke action pushes the water up through the drop pipe and into a stock tank or other storage tank.