Early History of Wind Energy



Looking back to the history of wind energy it is noted that the first use of the wind power was the sail boat. This was the development that has led to the technological advancements of the different types of windmills up to these modern times. Water pumping and grain grinding were the first purposes of the windmills that were initially developed and this was done in Persia in the year 500-900 AD.

It was the vertical axis system design and it was the design that was earliest known. It was first used for pumping water although the exact water transport method is not yet known since there were no drawings made of them.

Persian Vertical Axis Windmills

The first windmill that was made from bundles of wood or reeds with the design of the vertical sails was the Persian one and it was attached to the vertical central shaft by struts that were horizontal. After water pumping the next use of the windmill was grinding of grain and it said to be very straight forward. This is because the grinding stone was only attached to the one unchanged vertical shaft.

The machinery of the mill was enclosed in a building which was the most common thing to do. It included a shield which was typically a wall that was meant to block the wind that was incoming from slowing down the side of the rotor that was drag type which advanced toward the wind.

Wind Energy and Wind Turbines

Chinese Windmill

China is also known to be the first user of the vertical axis and it is said that they were invented there more than 2000 years ago. The Chinese windmill is documented to be in existence in 1219 AD and it was also used for pumping water and also for grinding grains. This belief of China being the first inventors of the vertical axis windmill is widespread and in one way or another it may be accurate.

The Crete Island is one of the places where there the wind power application was successful and it still being used up to these modern days and this are the water pumping machines. The sail rotor windmills are used to pump water for livestock and crops and they are in hundreds of numbers.

Western Europe Horizontal Axis Windmill Development

With continued looking at the history of wind energy it is noted that the horizontal axis windmills were the first ones to be noted in Western Europe. This was an evolution from the Persian vertical axis windmills and the cause of this evolution is not clearly known. However, most people claim that this evolution occurred because of the fact that the European water wheels had the configuration of the horizontal axis. Dragging the horizontal machines was also more effective as compared to the vertical ones and this might have led to the horizontal technological model.

Dutch and the Modern Developments

This was followed by the Dutch tower mill design which was noted in 1390 which was said to have been in existence earlier in the Mediterranean Sea. The tower mill was affixed with different floors for different purposes which included grinding of grain, storing grain, removing chaff and other purposes. Many other inventions followed up to these modern days where we have the highly advanced windmills.

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