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Stamps of Windmills in Denmark

Dybømølle

This stamp depicts a Danish tower mill with stage or platform. The stage is used by the miller to furl the sails and orient the rotor into the wind. Note the fantail on the cap behind the main rotor. Fantails were 19th century additions to windmills to provide self-orientation. Some early Danish wind turbines such as Windmatic and those built by Riisager used fantails, the direct technological descendents of the fantails used on traditional windmills. This windmill is somewhat unusual in that it has retained its steering or yaw poles even though it was fitted with a fantail.

It appears that this windmill is standing upon a "kame" or low hill left by the glaciers that created Denmark. Just as their forebears used kames to elevate the windmill above the surrounding landscape, modern wind turbines have been installed on kames in today's Denmark.

The Dannebrog or Danish flag is fluttering in the wind at the lower left of the stamp. The Dannebrog or whipples (long pennant like flags with the Danish cross) are a common sight on the Danish landscape.

This mill is famous in Danish history (well maybe in German history too) because it was the site of a major defeat of Danish forces by the Prussian (Tysk) armies under Bismarck. I believe Denmark lost most of Schlesvig in the peace treaty that followed their defeat. Thus the mill is symbolic of great territorial loss to Danes.


Askov

One of a series of commemorative windmill stamps issued in Denmark in 2007.

The windmill at Askov in Jutland was developed by Poul la Cour, the Danish Edison. It generated DC for use at the folkehøskole and also was used to produce hydrogen gas for storage.

The Askov windmill is historically significant in Denmark in part because of the work by Poul la Cour, its role in the Danish folk revival movement, and its role in Danish afinity for wind energy.

Poul la Cour not only developed wind turbines for generating electricity, he was also a leader in telephony. After a bitter patent dispute with Alexander Graham Bell, la Cour offered all his patents in the public domain for the benefit of all Danes. Even into the 1980s Danish wind turbine companies refused to patent their work as a result of la Cour's cultural influence.

More on the Askov turbine and on the history of Danish wind turbine development can be found in Wind Energy Comes of Age.


Gedser

One of a series of commemorative windmill stamps issued in Denmark in 2007.

The windmill at Gedser south of Copenhagen on the island of Sealand was developed by Johannes Juul in 1957. The Gedser mill is the technological model for all subsequent Danish wind turbines. The Gedser mill was in regular service until 1967.

The 24 meter diameter wind turbine used pitchable blade tips, an upwind rotor, mechanical yaw, and a 200 kW induction generator--all elements of modern Danish wind turbines of the 1970s and 1980s.

In the 1970s the US DOE paid to bring the turbine back into service as part of its research into wind energy.

In the 1990s the nacelle was replaced with a then modern Micon turbine of the same size class.

More on the Gedser turbine and on the history of Danish wind turbine development can be found in Wind Energy Comes of Age.


Bogø

One of a series of commemorative windmill stamps issued in Denmark in 2007.

The modern turbine in the foreground is a Vestas at Bogø Denmark. The nacelle and the graceful nosecone are distinctive of Vestas turbines of the period.

More on the history of Danish wind turbine development can be found in Wind Energy Comes of Age.

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