The Wind Energy Pioneer - Poul la Cour
Poul la Cour
Denmark w/ Askov
Askov Folk High School still exists. Presently a non-profit association, the Poul la Cour Museum, is trying to collect funds to preserve Poul la Cour's original windmill Photographs © 2000 Poul la Cour Museet
Poul la Cour & Poul la Cour (1846-1908) who was originally trained as a meteorologist was the pioneer of modern electricity generating wind turbines.
La Cour was one of the pioneers of modern aerodynamics, and built his own wind tunnel for experiments.
The picture shows Poul la Cour and his wife Christine at Askov. ( 49K JPEG )
La Cour was concerned with the storage of energy, and used the electricity from his wind turbines for electrolysis in order to produce hydrogen for the gas light in his school.
One basic drawback of this scheme was the fact that he had to replace the windows of several school buildings several times, as the hydrogen exploded due to small amounts of oxygen in the hydrogen(!)
Class of 1904
La Cour's Class of 1904 La Cour gave several courses for wind electricians each year at Askov Folk High School. This picture shows the group graduating in 1904. ( 124K, JPEG )
La Cour's Wind Turbines
La Cour's Turbines Two of his test wind turbines in 1897 at Askov Folk High School, Askov, Denmark. 89K, JPEG
La Cour founded the Society of Wind Electricians which in 1905, one year after it was formed, had 356 members.
The Journal of Wind Electricity
Journal of Wind Electricity The world's first Journal of Wind Electricity was also published by Poul la Cour.
In 1918 some 120 local utilities in Denmark had a wind turbine, typically of a size from 20 to 35 kW for a total of some 3 megawatt installed power.
These turbines covered about 3 per cent of Danish electricity consumption at the time. The Danish interest in wind power waned in subsequent years, however, until a supply crisis set in during World War II.
© Copyright 1997-2003 Danish Wind Industry Association
Updated 12 May 2003
Please wait...