The Great California Wind Rush
Nordtank 55 kW
Ebeltoft, Jutland wind turbine park The 55 kW generation of wind turbines which were developed in 1980 - 1981 became the industrial and technological breakthrough for modern wind turbines.
The cost per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity dropped by about 50 per cent with the appearance of this generation of wind turbines. The wind industry became much more professionalised, and the parallel development of the European Wind Atlas Method by Risoe National Laboratory was extremely important in lowering kWh costs.
The picture shows a particularly imaginative way of siting these Nordtank 55 kW wind turbines (43K, JPEG) , on a harbour pier at the town of Ebeltoft, Denmark. Red tipped rotor blades have disappeared completely from the market since then, after it was discovered that birds do not fly into the rotors anyway.
(Photograph copyright © 1981 NEG Micon A/S)
The Great California Wind Rush
Micon 55 kW at Palm Springs, California
Literally thousands of these machines were delivered to the wind programme in California in the early eighties. The Micon 55 kW (69K, JPEG) is one example of such a machine, delivered to one huge park of more than 1000 machines in Palm Springs, California.
Having started series manufacturing of wind turbines about 5 years earlier, Danish manufacturers had much more of a track record than companies from other countries. About half of the wind turbines placed in California are of Danish origin.
The market for wind energy in the United States disappeared overnight with the disappearance of the Californian support schemes around 1985. Since then, only a tiny trickle of new installations have been commissioned, although the market seems to have been picking up, lately. Germany is now the world's main market, and the country with the largest wind power installation.
(Photograph copyright NEG Micon A/S)
© Copyright 1997-2003 Danish Wind Industry Association
Updated 23 July 2003
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