Energie Eolienne Principes et Etudes de cas–A review

By Paul Gipe

Mea culpa, mea culpa, I am terribly remiss is reviewing this excellent book. I simply can’t do it justice. My French is even more limited than my time.

Nevertheless, I’ve picked up Energie Eolienne Principes et Etudes de cas several times and have thoroughly enjoyed their historical review of French wind development from the pioneering days.

Both Marc Rapin and Jean-Marc Noël are pioneers themselves, but the pioneering days I am referring to are the days of Neyrpic and BEST, the days when France was a leader in wind energy technology. Yes, there was a time when France was at the vanguard of wind technology development.

Though the book is replete with what you would expect of a modern technical book on wind power, formulas on loads and bending stresses, it is the historical perspective that I find so useful.

Lots of wind books include an obligatory section on the modern history of wind energy. Few provide a expansive historical review. There was Volta Torrey’s Wind Catchers in the 1970s, professor Désiré Gouriérés in the early 1980s, Jen Peter Molly in the late 1980s, and of course Robert Gasch’s series. Cleary, there have been few that have chronicled in detail French contributions. Energie Eolienne Principes et Etudes de cas makes up for this absence.

The appendix includes an extensive chronology of wind development in France. This section doesn’t start with traditional windmills as you’d might expect. That’s not necessary, France has its own famed historian of windmills who has published numerous tomes on the subject. No Energie Eolienne Principes et Etudes de cas begins with the earliest known multiblade farm windmills, some of original French design, and later, some derived from the well known “Chicago” mill. They then carry on to Georges Darrieus and his less well known horizontal axis design of 1929, then to the modern era. Some of the photos and designs have not appeared before and certainly have not appeared in any English-language book.

Rapin is an aeroelastic engineer with the French office of aerospace research (ONER, Office national d’études et recherches aérospatiales) and there is naturally a heavy emphasis on aeroelasticity. And though the book jacket and promotional materials simply describe Noël as a “wind energy consultant” that belies his background. He’s one of the founding fathers of modern wind energy in France having led Aerowatt for many years early in his career.

No wind energy library would be truly complete without a copy of Energie Eolienne Principes et Etudes de cas.

Energie Eolienne Principes et Etudes de cas by Marc Rapin and Jean-Marc Noël, Dunod, France, 2010, 304 pages, 170×240 mm, ISBN : 9782100508013, €59, www.dunod.com. The book is also available electronically.

Table of Contents

A. Les éoliennes modernes : historique et évolution
1. L’avenement de l’eolien moderne
Les moulins ” americans ”
L’evolution electrique : Poul la Cour, Louis Constantin et autres pionniers
Les premieres realisations

2. Le faux depart de l’apres guerre
L’experience francaise
Les devloppements danois et allemand

3. Le tournant du 1er choc pétrolier
L’echec des grands prototypes downwind
Les petites machines upwind d’Europe du Nord
L’invasion su marche californien
Et en France . . . ?

4. L’actuel et l’avenir : MW et offshore
Le developpement des machines de grande puissance
L’evolution du monde eolien
Les developpements vers l’offshore
B. L’énergie du vent : potentiel et conversion

5. Le potentiel du vent
La connaissance du vent
Le gisement eolien

6. Le potentiel de conversion
La limite de Betz
Caracterisations des eoliennes
C. L’eolienne-les differents sous-systemes

7. La pale : o’organe premier de la conversion d’energie
Structure et dynamique de pale
Aerodynamique de la pale
Aerelasticite de la pale

8. Le rotor
Fonctionnement du rotor
Comportement dynamique
Conception du rotor

9. Les equipements de le generation electrique
Etapes du developpement
Equipement individuels
Equipement couples aux reseaux
Les solutions alternatives : entrainement direct et alternateurs a aimants permanents
Le couplage au reseau

10. et pour aller plus loin ?


A. Chronologie des realisations eoliennes francaises
Les eoliennes lentes multipales
Les 1res eoliennes rapides
Les Developments de l’apres-guerre
Apres le 1er choc petrolier

B. Montage de project pour un parc eolien
Aspects techniques et economiques
Aspecs environmentaux
Aspects administratifs
Exemple de realisations