The World’s First Automatic Wind Turbine

In this video, we’ll take a closer look at Brush’s wind turbine, which is considered to be the world’s first automatically operating wind turbine for electricity generation. The turbine was designed by Charles F. Brush in 1888 and was built on his property in Cleveland, Ohio.

The wind turbine consisted of a 56-foot tower with a rotor diameter of 17 meters and 144 blades made of cedar wood. The rotor was mounted on a vertical shaft and connected to a generator located at the base of the tower. This wind turbine produced 12 kilowatts of electricity, enough to power Brush’s mansion and several other houses in the area. It was also used to power streetlights in downtown Cleveland.

One of the most unique features of Brush’s wind turbine was its automatic furling system. This system allowed the turbine to automatically turn into the wind to optimize its energy production. The system used weights and levers that were balanced so that the blades would automatically adjust their angle to the wind. This was the first time that a wind turbine had been automated, making it a significant breakthrough in wind energy technology.

The journal Scientific American published a detailed description of the Brush windmill on December 20, 1890, where it was particularly noted for its fully automated electrical control system. Despite its massive size, the generator was only a 12 kW model because the slow rotation of wind turbines of the American wind rose type did not have a particularly high average efficiency.

Brush’s innovative use of an automatic furling system was a key breakthrough in the development of wind energy technology, and his legacy continues to this day.


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