Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute
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TsAGI centenary in history: Balaklava wind-power station

1 February 2019

Keen travelers are certainly familiar with the local unique trolley bus system in the southern coast of the Crimea. One can find it enjoyable to go by this inexpensive and eco-friendly vehicle and see from the window mountain scenes. But few people know that the “progenitor” of the trolleybus network on the peninsula was the tramline Sevastopol-Balaklava. It was built after the civil war to transport people to work into the Crimea’s marine capital and back. And the electricity was provided by the first in our country industrial wind-power station. It was built by TsAGI’s specialist at Karani heights near Balaklava.

In the 20-ies of the past century, a young Soviet country needed the alternative sources of energy. Professor Nikolay Egorovich Zhukovskiy himself was interested in the ideas of producing energy “from the air”. The Kuchin’s aerodynamic laboratory ran the wind-technical research, including research for high-speed stabilizing wind engine. There were created first-ever such installations, one of which was used in the oilfields in Baku.

At the end of 1924 TsAGI built a wind-power laboratory with unique equipment. A systematic study of wind-engines’ performance and production prototypes were carried out on the tower of this laboratory for a few years. The result of this lengthy work was setting up the Crimean (Balaklava) wind farm, under the guidance of scientists N.V. Krasovsky and Vladimir Utkin-Yegorov. The wind farm capacity was 100 kW. It was built in the early 1930-ies on a high hill near the town of Balaklava. The author of the tower’s design is a Soviet engineer Vladimir Shukhov.

The wind farm had a wheel with a diameter of 30 m. with three stabilizing blades, rotating at a speed of 30 RPM. The yawing took place with the truss oblique arrangement based on a circular railway track with a diameter of 50 m. On the bottom end of the construction there was a wagon, circulating the rail track using the electric motor. The electric motor was switched on by the wind direction indicator, situated on the headpiece.

At that time it was the world’s largest industrial wind-power station. It worked together with thermal electric power station of Sevastopol on mains voltage 6.3 kV, providing the vital activity for the nearrest settlements and the tram line, described above. But, unfortunately, nothing lasts forever. During the Great Patriotic War, The Balaklava wind-power station was destroyed by German bombing. However, the developments of TsAGI’s specialists were not lost. Today in the Crimea, where the only right is to control the wind power for the good of people, have been operating the largest wind-power stations of Russia: Donuzlovaya, Ostatinskaya, Tarkhankutskay, Vostoch-Krymskaya.

TsAGI Press Service
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