The choice of the site


1950-1955 : The prototypes
The choice of the site
Access to the site
Establishment of the site
The team
Design features
The wind turbine commented
Sights on the wind turbine
Close-ups on the wind turbine
The research station
The tilting of the wind turbine
1959: Record of production
Disassembling the generator
Some figures
1966: the scraping
Remains of the wind turbine
Great power wind turbines
Where are the archives?
Lucien Romani
L. Romani & l'O.N.E.R.A.
The wind turbine & N.A.S.A.
French wind links
Legal notice
Site map
Who am I?

The choice of Nogent-le-Roi, in the Thymerais, the ends of the Beauce, may seem surprising to install a wind generator of 800 KVA, as it is quite obvious that the quality of wind power available per square meter in this region is low compared to other French regions as the more windy Atlantic coast, the shores of the Channel or of the Languedoc coast.

Mean wind power in Watts m2 for a vertical section taken at 50 m above the ground.
(Source :
Agence De l'Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l'Énergie)

For example, in Eure-et-Loir, 40 meters above the ground, the "wealth of wind energy" or "wind potential" is an average of 1000 KW/ m2 per year. The same deposit is 6000 kWh/m2/year in the Cotentin, 5000 and 4000 in Etretat and at Ushant and in the Languedoc.



Nogent-le-Roi is situated 70 km west of Paris and 50 km from Versailles
in a triangle formed by Rambouillet, Dreux and Chartres.
The experimental station was located 2 km from Nogent along the D148 (map at the bottom right).

Nogent_le_roi_3.png Nogent_le_roi_4.png
Maps : © Via Michelin

However, the choice of this site owed ​​nothing to chance. It took into account many factors:

  • The purpose of the experiment was not to achieve production performance of kilowatts, but to check the knowledges of a pre-industrial machine, which had never been done in France at that dimension.
  • It was also necessary to check the behavior of materials and, above all, the machine close to the megawatt power was, in the minds of its designers, an intermediate step towards a larger project (2 megawatts) intended to be installed in an area where much more windy planned were to produce 5 million kW / h / year would be a possibility.
  • One of the steps was to design machines with high speed propeller associated with slow alternators to remove at least one gear train and improve efficiency.
  • The installation of Nogent-le-Roi, very complicated, was not feasible on an industrial scale because it required a significant and costly maintenance.
  • The Thymerais region was interesting because the terrain was flat out of sight, without obstacle, so that if the wind was not very powerful, it had good aerodynamic quality.
  • Nogent-le-Roi was at a reasonable distance from Paris, that is of the BEST and of the Direction des Etudes et Recherches d'EDF.
  • The location allowed easy electrical connection of the research station to the electrical substation SNCF of Maintenon.
  • Finally, Nogent-le-Roi offered - and continues to offer - a number of industries that were utilized. Similarly, the city had the capacity necessary in the hotels and restaurants for the reception of engineers and technicians, which were many during the building phase and the development of the windmill..

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