Winds of change


Grass root years 1975 - 1977


In 1975 - At the NOAH "Miljø-Ø-Lejr" summer camp at Rugård beach by Grenå , a 300 Watt Wind Turbine was build, partly by draft resistors from the Kompedal Camp. The turbine, which had wood blades, would power a refrigerator at the summer camp. We, at NOAH Viborg delivered a 121 mirror solar furnace as well as a solar water heater.

The nacelle of the wind turbine was later moved to Viborg, where we equipped it with steel blades !

For the 1976 NOAH summer camp, Erik Grove-Nielsen made his first fibre glass blades for the wind turbine. On a windy day in the camp, one of the blades hit the tower, and the turbine was stopped. The blades and nacelle is still stored by Erik.

The NOAH Turbine - at the 1975 Summer Camp

In 1973 we experienced a global oil-crisis, as the OPEC countries reduced their production, and scared the world. The Danish government and the major Danish power companies wanted to establish nuclear power plants in Denmark as fast as possible. This aroused a major public discussion in the media. In this environment the Danish wind power business was born in the years 1974 - 75.

At the central square in Viborg we (NOAH) had a display of solar collectors, wind turbine models (The Gedser turbine) and information on nuclear power.


NOAH Viborg - telling about renewables 1975

The anti nuclear organization OOA was formed in 1974, as a reaction against the plans of ELSAM, RISØ and the Danish government to build nuclear reactors in Denmark.

(OOA= The Organization for Information on Nuclear Power)

In 1975 OOA had a nationwide meeting at Bryrup. At this meeting it was decided to break up the organization in two parts to enable some of us to work more on the new alternatives. This was the birth of a new organization OVE (The Organization for Renewable Energy).

The rest of OOA would still concentrate on gathering information on the treats of nuclear power.

I still remember the last words of one of the speakers, Poul Overgaard Nielsen, to us: "You can turn the wheels of history", and we all wanted to do that....

The sun says "Look up you fools!"
A solar water heater, an ugly scale model of the TVIND turbine, and a solar cooker made of 121 focused mirrors was part of the display.
Part of the display at Viborg museum "Pakhuset"
The NOAH 300 W turbine with steel blades, erected in central Viborg behind the museum "Pakhuset" winther 1975..
300 W turbine erected in central Viborg 1975

The first grid-connected wind-turbine in Denmark in the seventies was erected in 1975 by Christian Riisager at Skærbæk near Herning. Christian was a carpenter and was inspired by the GEDSER turbine south of Sealand. (Later there will be a special page for Riisager on this web site)

The 250 kW Gedser turbine was established by power company SEAS back in 1957 as the result of the work of wind turbine pioneer Johannes Juul. The Gedser turbine was finally stopped in 1967. Years later the turbine was run again for a period, for measurement purposes, partly paid for by US NASA / DOE.

Riisager experimental turbine at Skærbæk

May 29th 1975 the construction of a very important wind turbine began in western Denmark. The TVIND-schools were established from 1970 and onward, inspired by charismatic Amdi Petersen. They wanted to produce their own electricity and heat, partly because of the high cost of oil after the1973 oil crisis, but also because they did not want nuclear power to be part of the Danish power system. They were convinced that the people could come up with a better solution. If a lot of people worked together, they would succeed.... Consequently they started constructing a 1 MW wind turbine in windy western Jutland! A lot of people volunteered on building the turbine. The building of this big machine gave confidence to people: We do not have to wait for governments or big companies, we can do it together. In the following years many self builders visited TVIND, picked up inspiration and build their own smaller turbines. March 26th 1978 the TVIND turbine began producing power.


Tvind turbine - base - in 1975 - built by students..
In 1976 Christian Riisager sold his 2 first serial produced machines to customers. (One of those turbines was sold to Torgny Møller - Publisher of worldwide magazine Wind power Monthly)
Riisager 22 kW at Rimmerhus in summer 1977
Before Tvind made the three 27 m long blades, they started learning how to work with fibreglass by building three fishing boats.
27 m blades for the 1.2 MW Tvind turbine -May 77

After building the fishing boats, they designed and built a set of 4.5 m blades for a 11 kW turbine PTG. (Praktisk Teoretisk Grundkursus). The blades were designed for 115 rpm, but then downgeared to 75 rpm, which explains the somewhat low power output for this approximate 10 meter diameter Turbine.

The design was done at the Tvind based "Vestjydsk Energi Kontor" by a young engineer Jens B.Gjerding. (Now Tripod Engineering ApS)

The PTG turbine was a down wind machine, with passive yaw.

The gearbox was constructed from the rear-axle assembly of a truck. Part of it was used for the yaw bearing.

The 11 kW Tvind PTG Turbine - May 1977

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