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Wind Turbines: Designs and Costs
Engineering and Construction
Pages 4 (1004 words)
Wind energy has been harvested by man for over two millennia, the earliest use being in sailing, then pumping water and grinding flour. However, it was not until the 1930s when Leroy Ratzlaff and his family built a small wind turbine for harvesting the high winds that blew across the ridge at South Dakota in Hyde County where they lived.
The first electricity generating wind turbines would have to wait until the 1980s (Kjaer). The modern wind energy was born in 1982 when European manufacturers of agricultural machinery managed to install about 25-30 turbines in California. By the following year, 350 turbines had been installed capable of a total capacity of 20 MW (Kjaer). Today, wind energy is the fastest-growing electricity source in the world and production capacity per turbine generator has grown from the 1982 55kw to the 5,000kw (Kjaer). Turbine technology has also enabled wind energy production at varying heights both at higher and at low to medium heights. In addition to harvesting winds at broader heights, the trend of wind turbines has also been marked with increasing sizes. This is due to the fact that larger wind turbines capture more power and is more economical. Modern wind turbines further have more flexible structures to operate in uncertain environments. ...
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