Giants of wind energy
A windmill is a machine that harnesses the power of the wind. It may be used to grind grain into flour, to pump water, or to produce electricity.
The blades are mounted on a tall tower and spin around when wind blows on them. Blades are connected to a vertical shaft, which powers, for example, a water pump or millstones.
People in western Asia built the earliest known windmills more than 1,000 years ago. They spread to Europe by the 1100s. By the 1800s, however, many people used steam engines rather than wind power.
Today wind turbines produce electricity for many communities.
In 1932, the world’s first wind power plant with capacity of 100 kW was created by Soviet engineers and scientists in the Crimea.
Over time, internal combustion engines, electric motors, receiving current from the hydroelectric power plants, the emergence of nuclear power replaced primitive windmills. This process was everywhere. However, in the late 70s of XX century, during the world crisis in the supply of oil and gas, engineers once again turned their attention to wind energy.
The best places to build modern wind turbines with electric motors are large coastal area. Denmark, Holland and Germany have such areas. Wind turbines cause no damage to the nature.
However, the construction of modern wind turbines is expensive. Three-bladed wind turbines are the most widely used. The biggest turbines in the world are produced in Germany – 120 meters high and the length of the blades is up to 60 meters.
However, wind turbines have many disadvantages. Firstly, they make such a noise that is dangerous for eardrums. Secondly, they are the cause of bird deaths. And thirdly, their repair is very expensive – tens of thousands of euros.
There is one of the largest wind power plants in Russia, called Wind Park, in Kaliningrad region. It consists of 21 wind turbines with a total capacity of 5.1 MW. This is the first joint international project in the field of wind energy, carried out by Russian and Danish experts.
Interestingly, the first windmills were built to play organ.