The Windmill Invention

A windmill is a structure or machine that converts wind into usable energy through the rotation of a wheel. Heron of Alexandria invented the wind-wheel, constituting the earliest instance of wind harnessing on land.  It was Estakhri who created the earliest known account of windmills. Windmills convert wind power to rotational motion. The first practical windmill was built during the 9th century.

Windmills can also be used to provide energy to sawmills, paper mills, hammer mills and wind pumps. In the US, the invention of the wind-pump (which pumps water from underground) was the major reason farming could be done in dry areas of North America.

A wind farm uses groups of wind turbines to produce electrical energy. One wind farm is built in Antarctica to reduce their reliance of diesel. There are about 280 000 windmills on farms across South Africa, second in number only to Australia.

Did you know?
Traditionally, windmills were used to crush, grind or press grains in a grinding mill.


Intellectual Property in South Africa


Copyright does NOT have to be registered in South Africa. Copyright vests in the author of a work once the work is created in a material form. In South Africa, the term for copyright protection is 50 years, either from the end of the year in which it was created or made publicly available.


A South African patent may be granted for an invention or idea that is new, inventive and useful. Obtaining a patent in South Africa is a two-step process, with the two steps being spaced 12 months apart. A provisional patent application is filed in order to obtain the earliest possible date from which to claim rights.


A registered design protects the appearance of an object. Aesthetic designs protect the appearance of an object irrespective of the aesthetic value thereof. Functional designs protect the appearance of an article in as far as its appearance is necessitated by the function that the object is to perform.


A trademark distinguishes your goods or services from the goods or services of others.  Once a trademark is registered in South Africa it needs to be renewed every 10 years to stay in force. A trademark may be registered forever.  Name, Slogan, Logo, Shapes, Motions, Positions, Gestures, scents, Sounds, Textures.