Wind Energy

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by cstoneking5
Last updated 8 years ago

Energy & Environment

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Wind Energy


1st CommercialWind Turbine by Jacobs






Wind Energy

This timeline highlights some of the major advancements from 1900-2014.

Improved Efficiency withHutter turbine technology

200kw MOD-2A turbinequalified for US utilities

Use of wind turbines inwind farms for greater power

Significant focus onoffshore wind farms

See how a wind turbine works:

The first commercial wind turbine, used to generate electricity for remote farmers, was sold in 1927. These were used in rural areas across the Midwestern Great Plains to provide lighting for farms and to power many motor-driven appliances. The reason the wind turbine was built was an important alternative for rural farmers is because gasoline was very costly and inconvenient. The inventors of this machine were Joe and Marcellus Jacobs, from Minnesota.

Ulrich Hutter remodeled the wind turbine in 1960. Ulrich advanced the wind turbine technology with is horizontal axis design. This new design used fiberglass and plastic blades. The teeter hinge at the rotor hub and the fiberglass blade made the turbine operate more efficiently. These ideas were later used by U.S designers.

From the mid 1970’s to the mid 1980’s, the U.S government funded several technology advancements for large commercial multi-megawatt wind turbines. One example of success during this time was the 200-kilowatt MOD-0A turbine, developed by NASA, and qualified for use by the utility companies to provide alternative power.

Another major advancement was the use of wind turbines together as a wind farm, which by the 1990’s was able to produce enough electricity to power a city. One of the early wind farms, which began in 1981, was located in Altamont pass in California. This wind farm used 4800 small turbines, which could generate about 1.1 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity.

In the last twenty years, there has been even more support for wind energy because of public concern about air pollution and the need for less expensive power sources. In 2014, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy known as EERE, will spend $88 million on wind energy. One interesting thing the US government is focusing on for the future is technology advancements for offshore wind farms.

Charles Brush built thefirst wind turbine


Sources accessed:Illustrated History of Wind EnergyWind Energy TImelineHistorical Timeline - Alternative EnergyUS Dept of Energy's 2014 Budget RequestBackground image of wind farm

by Chris Stoneking


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