25 Interesting Facts About Windmills to Reconsider Green Energy

Wind energy is a renewable source of energy which would help us protect the environment, being an infinite resource. This eco-friendly source of energy could help us completely replace the use of fossil fuels. In this way, we would considerably diminish the amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and other greenhouse gas emissions. In what follows, we will provide some facts about windmills to convince you that green energy is the best type of energy.

Facts about windmills

1.The definition of a windmill is a machine which harnesses wind power that could have various uses. For instance, they can pump water or even drive electrical generators. Generally, most people associate windmills with the idea of using wind to produce power to grind the grains into flour.

2.Millwrights are the people who repair, build or design windmills. Back in 1945, Norfolk Millwright A. J. Thrower argued that this work is very dangerous. While talking to the Eastern Daily Press, he remembered how one of his fellows fell 30 feet to the ground directly into a mill dyke. The funny thing is that the millwright’s complaint was that he hated the taste of that water.

3.The inventor of the windmill is said to be a Greek engineer who lived in Roman Egypt in the 1st century AD. He used it to power a machine. His name indicates how important this innovation is since he was simply called ‘Hero’.

4.The Persians also had as main occupation the building of windmills. Hence, this concept spread in India, China, and the Middle East.

A Greek engineer invented the windmill

5.However, in Europe, windmills appeared only in the 18th and 19th centuries. Despite that, in the Domesday Book from the 11th century, windmills are mentioned, most likely being water or animal-driven. One of the earliest examples of a windmill is the Southtown Windmill in Great Yarmouth. This windmill was 102 feet high.

6.The Post Mill appeared, proving that it is even more efficient. The Post Mill was able to rotate its head in order for its sails to face the direction of the wind.

7.People say that windmills actually developed the Netherlands because, without them, it would have been impossible for citizens to drain away the water from the marshy lands of Holland. Hence, farmers would not have been able to grow their tulips, vegetables, and fruits.

Wind energy is an eco-friendly source of energy

8.Nevertheless, windmills also have their disadvantages. They only work relying on wind energy to generate power. Therefore, if there is no wind, they will not function. This is one of the reasons why steam power has replaced wind power, and many windmills were left into disrepair. Sometimes, people even used windmills as decorations for their fields, since ancient ones look amazing on the landscape.

9.The phrase ‘tilting at windmills’ is used to refer to the act of fighting imaginary enemies or engaging in pointless battles. The expression is found in the book ‘Don Quixote’ written in 1605 by the Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes. The phrase refers to a story in the book. Quixote is a retired country gentleman who is convinced that he is a chivalrous knight.

He embarks on several adventures, and we find out details about how he was riding an old farmhouse, and he attacks a windmill. He believed that the windmill is a giant.

A windmills on a green field

Windmills use the power of the wind, being a renewable type of energy.

10.In England, there is also another fictional character related to windmills. The puppet Windy Miller appeared in the British television series ‘Camberwick Green’ in 1960s. The show was about the daily routines in the fictional village called Camberwick. Windy lives in a windmill and he is very superstitious. When he needs the wind to turn the sails, he only has to whistle for good luck.

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Windmills are kept as decorative buildings today

11.When people first built windmills, they used them not only to grind grain, but also as automated stations. These stations can route water from flooded areas. Furthermore, they could also pump water from the depths to water agricultural areas.

12.The largest windmills in the world is near the town called Schiedam, in Netherlands.

13.When the popularity of windmills peaked in the 19th century in Europe, there were built about 200 thousand windmills.

14.Before people introduced steam-fueled machines, people used only windmills to manufacture many materials. A particular area in the Netherlands used to have more than 600 mills. They had all different uses, like the production of oil, mustard, gin, paint, paper, cut wood and even more.

15.At the beginning of the 20th century, people optimized windmills, taking advantage of wind power. Hence, windmills reached the output of 100 horsepower.

16.In 2009 in the US, wind power constituted about 1.9% of its electricity production. The power was enough to fuel all 5 million homes located in the state of Colorado.

The use of windmills spread in the 20th century

17.The decline of windmills took place in mid-19th century. Back then, the mass-produced steam power triggered the decline of windmills.

18.Nowadays, modern windmills help us convert wind energy into electricity. The industry that manages electric windmill turbines has become even more popular in late 20th century.

19.Charles Brush developed the first windmill in the US, in 1888, in Cleveland, Ohio.

20.The first models of windmills featured fan-shaped objects carved from wood. Modern windmills use some modern composite materials, like metal.

21.A single megawatt of wind energy can prevent the build-up of 2,600 tons of carbon dioxide.

22.Nowadays, windmills are mostly used in California, Iowa, and Texas.

23.Today, in Holland, there are more than 1100 windmills. Some of them have the same use as they had in the beginning, namely grind grain and water drainage.

24.The National Mills Day is celebrated in Holland every second Saturday in May.

25.The United Kingdom has over 130 windmill energy farms.

Summing up

All these facts about windmills help us understand the importance of keeping the environment safe in order to keep us safe. The use of wind energy is a lot more effective since it does not pollute the atmosphere and decreases the amount of carbon dioxide.

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William E. Eubanks

I'm one of the main writers on the site; mostly dealing with environmental news and ways to live green. My goal is to educate others about this great planet, and the ways we can help to protect it.

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