Utilizing the wind is not a new technology. For thousands of years the humans have used the power in the wind to ease the everyday life, in household, farming and industry. Until the last decade of the 19th century, the wind power has been used in graining, water pumping and to drive sail boats. During the last century the wind turbine has been used as a device for generating electricity. Developments in the field of aerodynamics, mechanical/electrical engineering, control technology, and electronics provide the technical basis for wind turbines commonly used today.
|First historical record of a windmill found in Mesopotamia in the present day Iran and Iraq.
|The first one to draw a wind turbine was the Greek mathematician Hero of Alexandria, from Egypt. It has been discussed whether the windmill actually existed, or if it only was a drawing.
|In Seistan, present day Iran, there are records from the first practical windmills; namely “The Persian windmill”.
|The first historical references of a windmill in Europe dates to 1185 in Yorkshire, Great Britain.
|The first real documentation was of the Chinese statesman Yehlu Chhu-Tshai in 1219. These windmills were quite similar to the Persian windmills, vertically axed.
|When steel blades were introduced in 1870, the weight of the blades was reduced.
|The first known electricity generating wind turbine, was a vertical-axis wind turbine designed in 1887 by the Scottish professor James Blyth in Glasgow, Scotland.
|The first attempt at large-scale wind generation of electricity is attributed to Charles Brush in 1887, Ohio, USA.
|In 1931 the French aeronautical engineer Georges Jean Marie Darrieus constructed and patented “the Darrieus wind turbine”.
|In 1941, the world’s first megawatt-sized wind turbine, the Smith-Putman wind turbine, was built and connected to the local electrical distribution system in a mountain in Castleton, Vermont, USA.
|Up until this point, horizontal axis wind turbine had been rotating counter- clockwise, but from 1978 a shift occurred, and now, in order to present a coherent view, all the major horizontal axis turbines rotate clockwise.
|The world’s first wind farm consisted of 20 wind turbines rating at 30 kW each, was installed in southern New Hampshire, USA, in 1980.
|In 2008, the company Enercon built the E-126 in Emden, Germany, which is the most powerful on-shore wind turbine today, having a 7 MW capacity. It is 131 meter tall and has a rotor diameter of 126 meters.
|The first floating off-shore wind turbine was installed outside Karmøy, Norway, by Statoil. The 2.3 MW wind turbine was designed by Siemens and more of these wind turbines were planned to be installed in the North Sea.
Last Modified : 3/2/2020
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