Poul la Cour

The first wind tunnel

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The wind tunnel in the engine room.

The wind tunnel installed at the engine room
at Poul la Cour's test centre.
 
     Poul la Cour was mostly known internationally for his revolutionary experiments with wind turbine models in small wind tunnels. His book ”The test turbine” was based on these experiments and for several years it was an international primer on wind turbines.
     In the book, la Cour demonstrates that wind roses were useless for electricity production. He argued that the ideal turbine should have as few blades as possible, be a fast-runner, have blades with an aerodynamic profile and the bevel of the blades should be surprisingly small. The last conclusion still puzzles people today - that the blade can turn even though it is almost perpendicular to the wind. How does the wind make the blades rotate under those circumstances? This was well documented by la Cour, however, and his ideal wind turbine very much resembles the knowledge of our time although the new materials like glass fibre enable far more aerodynamic profiles than Poul la Cour dared hope for.
     Compared to the farm wind turbines of his time, his ideal wind turbine could produce three times as much electricity with the same blade length.
   
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