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There are contradictory speculations about the historical origins of windmills. Some authors maintain that they have discovered the remains of stone windmills in Egypt, near Alexandria, with a supposed age of 3000 years. There is no convincing proof, however, that the Egyptians, Phoenicians, Greeks or Romans really knew windmills. The first reliable information about the existence of windmills from historical sources originates from the year 644 A.D. It tells of windmills from the Persian-Afghan border region of Seistan. A later description, including a sketch, dates back to the year 945 and depicts a windmill with a vertical axis of rotation. It was obviously used for milling grain. Similar, extremely primitive windmills have survived in Afghanistan up to the present time (Fig. 1). Some centuries later, the first news arrived in Europe that the Chinese were also using wind wheels for draining rice fields. Whether the Chinese knew windmills even before the Persians and whether the European mills might have been only an offshoot of the Chinese invention, can no longer be determined with certainty today. It is remarkable, however, that the Chinese wind wheels, too, were simple structures made of bamboo sticks and fabric sails and that they had a vertical axis of rotation (Fig. 2) .
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Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology in Germany: http://www.renewables-made-in-germany.com/en/renewables-made-in-germany-start/wind-energy/wind-energy/outlook.html.
Zurück zum Zitat Hau E (2013) Wind turbines—fundamentals, technologies, applications, economics, 2nd edn. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg Hau E (2013) Wind turbines—fundamentals, technologies, applications, economics, 2nd edn. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg
- History of Wind Energy and an Outlook for the Future