Thousands of years ago, Hammurabi of Babylonia supposedly dreamed up plans to create a device that would harness the power of the wind. His plans never came to fruition, though, and it wasn’t until over 1,500 years later that windmills were eventually brought to life in Greece.

Of course, windmills have come a long way since ancient times, and today, they are a common sight throughout rural American terrain. But what, exactly, are they?

Windmill converting wind into energy and electricityWhat Is A Windmill?

A windmill is a large structure with blades extending from the top of one of its sides. When the wind blows in close proximity to the windmill, the blades catch it and convert it into energy. In many cases, the energy from the wind is conveyed directly to a device that needs some of its power in order to function. Although windmills are generationally associated with Dutch culture- and indeed, they are quite prominent in the Netherlands- they are also a fairly common sight on many American farms today.

What Does A Windmill Do?

There are different variations of windmills, and over the course of time, windmills have evolved greatly. But the main purpose of a windmill has always been the same. Windmills work to harness the power of the wind and convert it into energy. This energy is renewable, meaning that there is not a limit to how much of it can blow your way. The wind is the natural flow of air across our planet, and as long as air exists, the wind will continue to be an option to power the world around us.

What Are Some Modern Types Of Windmills?

Although windmills may be thought of as ancient and obsolete, there have been many modifications to their design through the centuries. Today, several different types of windmills exist to serve the same overall purpose: converting energy from the wind into functioning electricity around you. Among the different variants of windmills are two in particular that help to harness the wind’s power for different functions.

Windmill pumps

A wind pump is a specific type of windmill that uses the power of the wind to pump and move water. The uses of wind pumps can vary, but two of the most common purposes of wind pumps are to excavate clean drinking water from wells and to drain excess amounts of water from areas of low elevation.

Windmill turbines

A wind turbine is a type of windmill that is specifically used to generate electricity. Through the 1900s and early 2000s, as concerns about the impact of global warming began to grow, wind turbines were more and more commonly seen as one potential solution to the problem of burning fossil fuels, as wind turbines simply harness one of the forms of renewable energy that the planet will not run out of.

 

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