11/10/2012 7:22 AM
By Steve Damon Massachusetts Correspondent
NORTH HATFIELD, Mass. — It was the “big energy crisis — in the ’70s — you’re too young to remember,” Martin Holich said, that served as his impetus to construct his own wind turbine.
At that time, the tobacco farmer was also in the “heating, excavating, plumbing, cooling, you name it” trade, and had trouble finding time to work on the project.
Holich started building the wind turbine decades ago, with plans from his imagination and scrap metal from wherever he could find it.
But upon semi-retirement “a couple years ago” from farming his 15 acres, the building of the turbine caught steam — wind, that is.
The machine, which currently resides in Holich’s backyard with his farm equipment, will “outproduce anything, anywhere,” he said, due to the number of blades.
“Size for size, nothing can touch it,” he proudly boasted of his 6-foot-diameter contraption.
“A sustained wind of 40 mph will produce about 3 horsepower,” he estimated, pointing to the battery hooked up to the turbine.
The 31-blade contraption — as opposed to the standard three blades — stands about five feet off the ground and is not set to work, due to Holich’s fear of “some moron losing a hand in the blades.”
For it to work properly, the machine (which he built all by himself) would need to be put on a tower.
When asked if he had told a local university about his energy-saving product, Holich said he was concerned about others taking all the kudos for his work. After working on the wind turbine for over 30 years, he is not willing to share the glory.
Holich’s hope is that “someone who realizes its capabilities will come, visit, and work with me on mass production.”
He envisions building smaller wind turbines in automobiles to power them on wind, rather than “killing the Earth more” by using oil.
The wind-generated energy has multiple uses on a farm, said Holich, the father of three grown children in North Carolina, Illinois and Massachusetts, whom he keeps updated on the progress of his project.
Holich said he hopes to find a fellow farmer who may be interested in putting the turbine to use.
Anyone interested in communicating with Holich about his work can contact him at: Martin Holich, P.O. Box 12, North Hatfield, MA 01066-0012.