Power from Wind: A History of Windmill Technology

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Since the inception of windpower around 1000 AD, technology has been deployed to obtain the most economical power from wind. The author traces its technical evolution, concentrating on the growth in understanding of wind and charting crucial developments in windmill design. The history of the windmill focuses on North Western Europe, but Hills indicates the origins of the first horizontal windmills in Persia, Tibet and China. He also examines industrial applications such as in textiles, papermaking and mining. The book concludes with a look at the recent reemergence of windpower as a viable source of power in the wake of the energy crisis.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...an important contribution to the history of technology, for it is the first solid, scholarly monograph devoted to the history of the windmill....it will be...the place from which all subsequent studies of the windmill's history begin." Terry S. Reynolds, Science

"...comprehensive and compellingly organized history of the technology of the windmills of the world." Bret Ancowitz, Yale Scientific

"Historians of engineering will therefore welcome Richard Hill's full and well-researched account of the history of wind power, a book in which this most singular problem of design and development (which has a long history and is by no means yet a dead letter) is so elegantly described....Hills provides as good an account as one could wish to read of the techniques developed and deployed to convert air flow into mechanical movement, to rotate whole buildings to face the wind, and to try to deal, automatically, with the vagaries of wind direction and speed....a fascinating history, which Hills has so expertly and lucidly set out." Norman A.F. Smith, ISIS

"Power from Wind is not the typical windmill history book....End notes and a bibliography make this book especially helpful for readers interested in delving deeper into wind power history....Power from Wind provides interesting history..." Windmiller's Gazette

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521566865
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1996
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 493,047
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.69 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. The wind; 2. The horizontal windmill; 3. The post mill; 4. Tower and smock mills; 5. Windmill sails; 6. Windmills for land drainage; 7. Windpower in industry; 8. The demise of the traditional windmill; 9. The windmill for pumping water and water supply; 10. Electric power from the wind; Glossary and bibliography.

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