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Wind Energy Facts

Windmills have been in use in Europe since the 12th century.

The horizontal-axis or vertical windmill (so called due to the plane of the movement of its sails) is a development of the 12th century, first used in northwestern Europe in the triangle of northern France, eastern England and Flanders.

The earliest certain reference to a vertical type windmill in Northern Europe dates from 1185, in the former village of Weedley in Yorkshire, located at the southern tip of the Wold overlooking the Humber Estuary.

The first skyscraper in the world to integrate wind turbines into its design was the Bahrain World Trade Center.

The two towers of the Trade Center are linked via three skybridges, each holding a 225 kW wind turbine, totalling 675 kW of wind power capacity.

Each of these turbines measure 29 m (95 ft) in diameter, and is aligned north, which is the direction from which air from the Persian Gulf blows in


There is a children's playground built from discarded wind turbine parts in the Netherlands.

The Rotterdam-based playground is a maze-like structure, made from five discarded wind turbine blades that have been cut up into parts and re-painted!


The world's largest and most powerful wind turbine is currently being built in China.

The turbine, in production by the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), will reach a peak 18 megawatts, with an enormous 260m (853ft) diameter on its three-bladed rotor.


Turbine maintenance ladders are often attached with magnets instead of screws.

The interior of a wind turbine is filled with cables, ladders, and sometimes elevators to allow workers to access the turbine nacelle. This equipment must be secured to the wall of the tower. However, drilling holes through the tower wall reduces its mechanical strength and creates opportunities for metal fatigue and corrosion, which can sacrifice the integrity and safety of the tower.

Some wind-turbine manufacturers have developed magnetic mounting systems that securely attach ladders and other equipment to the steel tower walls. This method allows equipment to be secured to the tower without the need to drill holes or weld brackets to the tower walls.


The world's biggest offshore wind farm is being built by a ship which itself is taller than the Eiffel Tower.

The Voltaire wind turbine installation vessel, building huge new turbines in the North Sea, is 336 metres high!



There are companies developing floating offshore wind platforms for use in deep waters.

The innovative types of floating platforms include spar-buoy, tension leg platform, semi-submersible, and barge.

The wind once changed a city's temperature from -20°C to 7°C in just two minutes.

Spearfish, South Dakota in the U.S. holds the world record for the fastest recorded temperature change - due to the power of wind!


On January 22, 1943, at about 7:30 a.m., the temperature in Spearfish was −20 °C. A Chinook wind picked up speed rapidly, and two minutes later the temperature was 7 °C. The 27 °C rise in two minutes set a world record that still holds.


By 9:00 a.m., the temperature had risen to 12 °C. Suddenly, the Chinook died down and the temperature tumbled back to −20 °C. The 32.2 °C drop took 27 minutes, and the sudden change in temperatures caused glass windows to crack and windshields to instantly frost over.



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