The history of windmills provides a fascinating look at how people learned to harness the energy of the wind.
Where Windmills Began
While the concept of wind power might be something which seems more modern, the use of windmills began as far back as the first century. In ancient texts, it seems many societies realized they could capture the power of the wind to help them with tasks in their lives. The first windmills designed to use wind energy were designed in Persia in the ninth century. Before that time, it’s not clear what the windmills may have been used for at that time. As the popularity of windmills spread, the people begin to use the movement of the sails on the mill to grind up grain and to move water from one place to the next.
How Windmills Work Today
Over the years, the positioning of windmills has changed to better capture the wind in order to use it. With the discovery of electricity, people began to realize that the movement of the mills not only could move water, but it could create electrical charges. By installing a drive shaft in windmills which would move each time the windmill moved, this would allow the mill to create electricity to power up the home or other parts of the area.
Wind turbines are modernized versions of the windmills of yesterday, made out of metals which can withstand years of movement. These mills still work in the same way to gather up energy in order to turn it into electricity. While the mills of today have taken on new shapes and might seem more like propellers than windmills, they continue to serve the same function and to create another renewable source of energy for the world.