A wind pump is a operated with the power of the wind pump device. The use of wind pumps is one use of wind energy. Historically, different designs were used; addition to the European windmill types with pumping device are mainly in industrial series production millions of American -made Westernmills important representatives of wind pumps.


Main purpose was to promote drinking and drinking water and feed water for technical purposes, but there are also other application areas, such as the drainage of swamp and marsh areas or reclaimed land near the coast. Also, for the irrigation of land wind pumps were used. Meanwhile, the use of wind pumps in most industrialized countries has declined sharply, while they just far away from a central power supply is a both cheap and environmentally friendly way of water supply in developing countries. The possibility of residual development largely depleted oil wells in regions with poor infrastructure will be sought. Meanwhile, several manufacturers have sponsored the construction of Western Mills resumed, so that the number of used equipment may rise again.

Worldwide, there are over a million wind pumps in use. For Saudi Arabia are economic data for modern wind pumps. Thus, flow rates of 30,000 cubic meters of water from a depth of 50 meters are possible with a 2.5 - kW wind pump per year; on a good location were the production costs according to the study 1.28 U.S. cents per cubic meter.


The history of wind pumps dated to at least the 16th century back, according to other sources until the 14th century. Of great importance Wind pumps were in particular in the Netherlands, where it served as part of the land reclamation for dewatering the newly reclaimed polder, or were used for the drying up of lakes and swamps. Initially this Fluttermühlen were used later Kokerwindmühlen were used, in which a paddle was attached to the outside.

In the 16th century mills were finally used for the first time with a rotatable hood, the so-called Dutch windmills. These had a higher capacity and thus contributed to the increased demand of pump power bill. While Dutch windmills in the rest of Europe were mainly used as flour mills, their main purpose was the drainage in the Netherlands. Since, however, often not sufficient, the performance of a single system during drainage of territory that windmills were concentrated in groups, which can be seen as a forerunner of today's wind farms.

Until the mid-19th century, the water pumps in the Netherlands was almost entirely filled with wind pumps, yet in 1845 there were only two steam pumps. After a gradual increase in the number of steam pumps took 1870-1885 to 433 plants strongly, but then stagnated at about that level. Even in 1896, 41% of the drainage area in the Netherlands were drained with the help of wind pumps, steam pumps during this time had a share of 59%. With the installation of combustion engines and electric motors, the importance of wind pumps in the 20th century continued to decline.

Another big growth experienced wind pumps during the 19th century for irrigation. On the one hand of the 19th century in the Mediterranean ( Crete, Mallorca, etc.) have been installed a number of wind pumps for irrigation from the center, on the other hand, the much -winged Westernmill was invented around the same time in the U.S., of which already deducted in the 1850s, many plants were. It was not until the World Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876, until they reached the breakthrough internationally.

The Western Mills were mostly industrially produced from metal sheets, in contrast to the traditionally built by craftsmen European windmills and were equipped with a piston pump. A built-in control mechanism including storm protection they were able to work without constant monitoring by an operator autonomously. Thus, it lent itself to the development of the American West, where they were placed in large numbers to promote drinking water for people, water for drinking for animals and feed water for the newly built railways; later they were used for decentralized power generation.

Pioneer was Daniel Halladay, who in 1853 designed his first system, however, was only two decades later, with newly constructed facilities that were produced until 1929 also commercially successful. While Halladay put on a relatively complicated system control with them out of the wind rotating rotor blades, Reverend Leonard H. Wheeler constructed with the so-called "Eclipse " has a different system that completely turned by a combined with a spring mechanism side flag at high wind speeds from the wind and be lined up again automatically when abating. These two types were the most successful Western Mills, albeit much more plant variants were built.

In 1889, the U.S. had already 77 manufacturers of Western Mills, who sold several thousand plants a year. Between 1860 and 1960, produced around 1000 Manufacturer over 1100 different types that have been exported to many other countries especially in the Americas, but also to Europe. Alone for the year 1910, for example, the export of 15,000 such facilities in the United States proved to Argentina. 1930 were counted with approximately 2,300 employees, nearly 100 manufacturers. Also to Europe and Germany, as well as copies of production licenses were exported, but could not be they prevailed.

After Hau to 1930 over 6 million Westernmills were produced. Today they are still used by Gasch et al tens of thousands in countries such as Australia, Argentina and the U.S., Hau alone estimates, however, the number of units left in the U.S. plants to around 150,000.


Wind pumps basically consist of a wind turbine, a gearbox and a pump. They can be constructed with both mechanical and electrical power transmission. Systems with electrical power transmission have advantages over mechanical variant as the independent choice of wind turbine and pump location or with large drilling depths that must be developed with multi-stage centrifugal pumps. However, their efficiency is lower. That's why primarily wind pumps come with mechanical power transmission for use.

The aerodynamic design of the wind pump is usually based on the type of pump used, which in turn is dependent on the feed depth and the hydraulic conditions at the site. On the positive displacement principle working pumps such as piston pumps, diaphragm pumps and progressive cavity pump require a high starting torque, while centrifugal pumps can also start with a low torque. Therefore schnellläufige wind turbines are used for centrifugal pumps, positive displacement pumps while for langsamläufige turbines are selected.

The most important Verdrängungspumpenart is the piston pump which allows for an efficiency of up to 85% funding depths to about 300 meters. A disadvantage is the difficult start-up, but this can be countered by appropriate design of the aerodynamic part of the plant. Less common are diaphragm pumps, which indeed achieve higher flow rates, but have a lower efficiency and its dissemination is also inhibited by the shorter life of the membrane. The progressing cavity pump is not widespread.

For low pump depths of up to about 10 meters, as they occur in the groundwater extraction, single-stage centrifugal pumps are used, which have both a good starting behavior as are also sensitive to polluted water. Moreover, even systems with Archimedean screw pumps, chain pumps and lift pumps, but all of them have a low efficiency exist.