Albert Betz

Albert Betz ( born December 25, 1885 in Schweinfurt, † April 16, 1968 in Göttingen ) was a German physicist and a pioneer in wind energy technology.

Life and work

Albert Betz worked from 1911 as a flow researchers in the Aerodynamic Research Institute in Göttingen. From 1926 he was professor at Göttingen where he was from 1936 to 1956 as the successor of Ludwig Prandtl also head of the Aerodynamic Research Institute. From 1947 to 1956 he headed the Max Planck Institute for Flow Research. Betz was the physics of wind rotors on scientific criteria and put in his work, the theoretical basis for their aerodynamics. 1920 appeared an article by him in the Journal of the whole turbine being in whom he has shown that out of the action in one place wind maximum of 59.3 percent of the available at the moment energy can be converted by a turbine-like, disc- shaped transducer into mechanical power. This he expressed in Betz 's law. In 1925, he summed up the results of his work on this subject in the book wind energy and its utilization by windmills together and formulated his still valid airfoil theory to design of the rotor blades.

Albert Betz developed together with Major Kurt Bilau the Ventikantenflügel sheet aluminum. This is shaped like an aircraft wing and has an auxiliary wing for speed and power control of the wind mill. By 1920, he had worked for about ten years along with Ludwig Prandtl and Max Munk. In 1939, he conducted research together with Ludwig Bölkow in the wind tunnel for the Messerschmitt company.

Betz was awarded in 1957 the Order of Merit. Albert Betz in 1965 received the Carl -Friedrich- Gauss Medal. Betz particular merit is the formulation of the theoretical bases for the wing theory. His other achievements lie in the wind tunnel technology and in the overall development of the flow research.


  • The maximum theoretically possible utilization of the wind by wind motors. Journal of the whole turbine beings, September 20, 1920
  • Wind energy and its utilization by windmills. Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, Göttingen 1926, now available as an unaltered reprint, ökobuch, Staufen, ISBN 3-922964-11-7
  • Conformal Mapping. 1948 1964
  • Introduction to the theory of flow machines. Brown (1959 )
  • Hydro-and aerodynamics. Verlag Chemie, 1953

Liter Artur

  • Michael Globig: Experiments close to the wind, in: MaxPlanckForschung 2/2009, under the heading " flashback ", page 96, online, PDF