Early wind power

Early wind power

Compared with the use of wind to generate mechanical power, the early use of wind energy to generate electricity was attributed to the successful commercial development of small wind turbines, which were subsequently applied to large wind turbines through research and experiments.

When the generator appeared at the end of the 19th century, people had reason to try to apply it to windmills; in 1888, in Cleveland, Ohio, Charles Brush built a wind generator worthy of attention. Although the Brush wind turbine was not popular, But then small wind turbines were widely used; for these small wind turbines, the most worth mentioning is the Marcellus Jacobs wind turbine, he is of course the successor of the water-lifting windmill, and his outstanding The contribution is to propose that the wind turbine uses three blades and has a real airfoil, which is close to today’s wind turbines. Another feature of the Jacobs wind turbine is that it is indeed connected to a complete, residential power system and has battery storage. Jacobs Wind Like Bergey and Southwest Wind Machinery, it is the true pioneer of modern small wind turbines. In the 1930s, with the funding of the rural electrification management department, the central power grid expanded outward, and the market for the vigorous development of small wind turbines began to be contained.

In the first half of the 20th century, the construction and concept of large-scale wind turbines can also be seen, and they still strongly influence today’s technology. Denmark is at the forefront of the development of wind turbines. Between 1891 and 1918, Poul La Cour built 100 wind turbines of 20~35 kW. His design is based on Denmark’s latest Smock windmill. One of the characteristics is to use electricity to generate hydrogen, and then use hydrogen to light a lamp. Before World War II, La Cour wind turbines were produced by Lykkegaard and F.L.Smidth Co., Ltd., with a range of 30-60 kw. Only after World War II, in the southeast of Denmark, Johan-es Juul built a 200kW Gedser wind turbine. The unique innovation of this three-blade wind turbine is the use of aerodynamic stall for power control and induction generator (squirrel cage) Instead of the synchronous generators commonly used by people at that time, induction generators are easier to connect to the grid than synchronous generators, and stalling is also a simple way to control power. These two concepts formed the core of Denmark in wind energy research in the 1980s. One of the pioneers in wind energy research in the 1950s was Ulrich Hutter (Dorner, 2002) in Germany, who was committed to applying modern aerodynamic principles to Wind turbine design, many of the concepts he researched are still applied in today’s wind turbines.

In the United States, the most outstanding early large-scale wind turbine was the Smith-Putnam type wind turbine. In the late 1930s, it was built in the Grandpa’s Knob (Putnam, 1948), Vermont, with a diameter of 53.3m. , With a rated power of 1.25 MW, it is also the largest wind turbine for many years. Its characteristic is the first large-scale wind turbine with two blades. It is the originator of the two-blade wind turbine built by the U.S. Department of Energy in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It is also worth mentioning that the wind turbine was built by S. Morgan Smith. Manufactured by the company, the company has rich experience in the field of hydroelectric power generation and intends to enter the field of commercial wind turbine production. Unfortunately, the Smith Putnam type wind turbine was too large and too early, and it was difficult for people to have a sufficient understanding of wind energy engineering at that time. One of its blades was destroyed in 1945, so the plan was abandoned.

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