Science and Technology 

Windmill without Moving Blades


The Dutch office Mecanoo has recently presented an alternative proposal to generate electricity through wind: the EWICON (standing for ‘electrostratic wind energy converter’). The first prototype has been installed in front of the faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science at the Delft University of Technology campus. Devised as a large steel structure supporting a framework of horizontal steel tubes, the system entrusts electricity production to a grid of fixed blades – which prevents noise, is bird-friendly and reduces maintentance costs. Instead of transforming wind energy into mechanical energy to then convert into electrical energy – as in conventional turbines –, this windmill is able to generate electrical current through the movement of charged air particles that produce an elecrostatic effect. Designed jointly by the universities of Delft and Wageningen, the EWICON materializes the first stage of a project that aims, in the medium term, to raise small wind parks in urban environments. 

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