BluePlanet logo piccolo

Aeolian energy

A free and inexhaustible source
by Anna Maria Fiorentino
The wind is not bound by limitations of border, race or religion, and it belongs to no-one; it blows with varied intensity over valleys and mountains, rivers and oceans; it carries seeds through the air, enabling them to propagate all over the planet. And seeing it inexhaustible, mankind has always sought to capture it, to harness its impalpable power for the production of energy.

Persian windmill

The universal availability of wind has meant that, throughout human history, there has been widespread use of machines designed to capture the wind to help lighten the burden of human labour. Historic sources tell us that in the seventeenth century B.C. in Persian Babylonia, Hammurabi had organised a system of irrigation involving windmills, while we know for certain that the first wind-machines were Chinese and Persian and of the type designed on a vertical axis. They arrived in Europe via Morocco and Spain, and were brought to the north of the Continent by the German crusaders.

These were the type of windmills which have made famous both Holland and Don Quixote de la Mancha’s Spain, with a technology so simple that in 1750 there were about 23,000 of such mills operating in Germany, Holland and England.

But what precisely is the advantage of wind-powered energy? The main advantage is that aeolian energy is inexhaustible and free and makes it possible to construct clean and silent conductors using simple and reliable technologies. If the irregularity of wind power is its weak point, the fact that it is free makes it an exceptionally precious source of renewable energy. In a well-built windmill, 30% becomes useful energy while 41% of the source is carried away by the outward wind and 29% dissipated in turbulence and friction.

To make windpower viable you need to have energy storage systems, and to date there are still difficulties in obtaining elevated rotation speeds for the generation of electrical energy.

There are various types of systems for capturing energy from the wind, and they are predominantly useful in remote areas poor in resources. But even in the industrial world, it is not rare to see these modern windmills, used above all for pumping water and creating electrical energy Multi-blade air-pump.

BluePlanet logo piccolo
Blue Planet On Line
Via Faentina, 127 - 50133 Firenze, Italy - ph. & fax (+39) 055 575488
Email: - ©Blue Planet - All rights reserved