There is more to the windpower industry than kilowatt-hours. For instance, the first recorded windmills come from — where else — China, in about 200 BC. Here are a few other wind energy facts to share:
- Wind is the natural movement of air, but many don’t know it is caused by the Earth’s surface being unevenly heated by the sun. Thank you solar energy!
- Some of the first documented uses for wind energy sailed boats along the Nile River around 5,000 BC. China was using basic windmills for water pumping by 200 BC.
- Other early documented windmills were also designed for grain grinding before 900 AD in Persia. The vertical-axis windmills had a central shaft with vertical sails made of wood and reeds.
- Charles F. Brush was the first inventor to build a large-scale wind energy turbine for electricity generation around 1888 (just 23 years after the civil war) in Cleveland, Ohio. Weighing 40 tons, it stood 60 ft. tall with a 56 ft. diameter. The multi-bladed rotor was able to power his mansion with 12kW that charged 12 batteries. The windmill was also the first to incorporate a step-up gearbox.
- In 1931, Russia started developing a utility-scale 100-kW wind energy generator. They say it produced about 200,000 kWh near the shore of the Caspian Sea.
- Windpower grew in popularity with the unstable fossil fuels market in the 1970s. This sparked a global interest in wind turbines for power generation. Thank you fossil fuels!
- The Baltic Sea marks the location of the first commercial offshore wind farm. Installed in 1991 about 2 km. off the coastline of Vindeby, Denmark, the 11-turbine wind farm has been in operation for more than 20 years setting the expectations for many offshore projects.
Filed Under: Offshore wind, Turbines