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It might seem incredible to anyone to go and visit an ancient country for reasons other than touching old monuments. Iran is full of wonders that everyone comes to, due to specific reasons. Additional to its nature, history, and civilization, one might be amazed by how Iranians were managed to live and earn a living in dry regions centuries ago when there was no idea of modern windmills or air conditioners.

For centuries, in Iran, all buildings have been built according to the climate and environmental conditions. The sun, wind, humidity, cold and heat, and in general the weather and geographical conditions, have had a direct impact on the traditional architecture of Iran in different regions. It is not surprising that using wind energy goes back to ancient Iran in different ways as local people were always interested in nature and its wonders.

As a natural wonder, wind energy was first used by the Iranians in the construction of windmills in 200 BC ( Iranians were able to use a force to bring water from their wells to the surface of the fields.  The idea of using these windmills was transferred to Europe and then to the Americas in the 12th and 13th centuries, and has been used there for many years. Examples of these mills are still available in Nashtifan, Khaf (Khorasan Razavi Province) which are currently in use.

Many sources state that in the eastern provinces of Iran, windmills were used to raise water from wells and grind grains. Observations and research show that in summer and sometimes in the autumn in most arid and waterless regions of Iran, which naturally need more water, the intensity of wind has been an important factor in the use of wind energy.

Nashtifan mills are some of the beautiful attractions of Nashtifan village. Nashtifan is located in the southeast of Khaf in Khorasan Razavi province. The city is famous for its old windmills. The name of the city consists of two parts, Nash, meaning bite, and Tiffany, meaning storm. The city of Nashtifan currently has the remains of 40 windmills that have created irreplaceable landscapes. The most important windmills of Nashtifan have been repaired and are currently active and are used for milling. The locals call the windmill “Asbad”. The main energy source of Neshtifan windmills is the 120-day wind of Sistan, which has effects not only in the same 120 days but throughout the year. It goes without saying that other winds, such as the Neishabour wind, also stimulate these mills. The 120-day winds of Sistan are in the warm period of the year from early spring to autumn and the source of these winds, which are known as Badkuh, are the snow-capped heights of Baba Mountain in the Hindu Kush. The windmill structure is made of the simplest materials available, namely clay, mud, and wood, and its building consists of two main floors. In the ashtrays of Nashtifan, a 30- to 40-grain wheat barley (150 kg wheat bag) is poured into Perkho (wheat tank), and the miller does not need to control the windmill until the wheat flour. If the wind blows, the mill will do its job. It is interesting to note that the windmill design system, while simple, is extremely efficient and uses natural forces at no cost. These natural windmills did not cause any pollution to nature and did not harm the natural cycle. Although the history of windmills in Iran dates back to before the advent of Islam, the construction of Nashtifan windmills goes back to the Safavid era. The structure of Nashtifan windmills has a special architecture and they are not similar to other windmills that work in rotation.

But applying wind power does not limit to windmills.

 Wind catchers…

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