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Posts Tagged ‘windmill’

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Photo: Mohammad Hossein Taghi
Ancient vertical windmills in Iran’s Nashtifan village. Proof that “the sun also rises and goeth to his downsetting, and there is no new thing under the sun.”

There’s been a lot of excitement in recent years about using windmills for energy, as if we invented the giants I see on summer visits to New Shoreham (below) before Iran did, Don Quixote, the Dutch, or Denmark.

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The website Atlas Obscura corrects the misapprehension.

“Located on the arid and windswept plains of northeastern Iran, 30 miles from the Afghan border, the small village of Nashtifan is keeping ancient traditions alive amid the winds of change. The town is home to some of the earliest windmills in the world, and the structures are still in use today.

“Along the southern edge of town, a towering 65-foot-tall earthen wall shelters residents from the abrasive gales. The high wall houses two dozen mostly functional vertical axis windmills that date back to ancient Persian times. It’s estimated the structures, made of clay, straw, and wood, are around 1,000 years old, used for milling grain into flour.

“The area is known for its uniquely powerful winds, and in fact the name Nashtifan is derived from words that translate to ‘storm’s sting.’ During turbulent winter months the handcrafted wooden blades whirl with a surprising velocity and power grindstones in a marvel of engineering and passive ventilation. …

“The tall walls framing the windmills both support the turbines, and funnel the airflow like the elliptical throat in a primitive windtunnel.

Unlike European Don Quixote-style windmills, the Persian design is powered by drag as opposed to lift.

“And since the blades are arrayed on a vertical axis, energy is translated down the mast to the grindstone without the need for any of the intermediary gears found on horizontal axis windmills.”

More at Atlas Obscura, here.

Video: Deveci Tech
Note that today’s hybrid vertical-axis turbines in Turkey are using the same principles to generate wind energy from vehicles speeding by. More on that here.

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In order to get down to the beach for a good shot of the structures I’ll call “War of the Worlds,” I had to negotiate a very steep, very slippery path that reminded me of my age at every step.

 

You are old, Father William,” the young man said,
“And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head —
Do you think, at your age, it is right?”

“In my youth,” Father William replied to his son,
“I feared it might injure the brain;
But now that I’m perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again.” …

I thought of The War of the Worlds when I took the photo of this, the first, deep-water windmill in America and its giant parent, which is assembling the next four windmills.

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The beach on the south side of the island is beautiful, and since I don’t often scramble down there, I took photos of the tide pools and one of the many towers people build with smooth beach stones.

Moving right along, there’s a mobile of sea creatures that I made in an art class with my oldest grandchild. He made one, too: a jellyfish, a shark, a whale (he chose to make an orca) and a sea turtle.

I also have shots of a quiet “tug hole” (a peat bog), reflections of houses on the far side of Fresh Pond, a lotus, flowers against a stone wall, a box of pink impatiens by the outdoor shower, a monster crane getting delivered to Paradise, and magnificent city shadows.

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