mecanoo architecten + TU delft unveil a windmill without moving blades
mecanoo architecten + TU delft unveil a windmill without moving blades mecanoo architecten + TU delft unveil a windmill without moving blades
mar 28, 2013

mecanoo architecten + TU delft unveil a windmill without moving blades

‘EWICON prototype’ by mecanoo architecten and delft university of technology, the netherlandsall images courtesy of mecanoo architects / TU delft




a scale model of the bladeless windmill developed by mecanoo architecten and delft university of technology is now viewable in front of the on-campus faculty building dedicated to engineering, mathematics and computer science. the electrostatic wind energy converter (EWICON) is a steel frame structure that uses particle movement to generate energy. electrically charged water droplets are moved across a bipolar field by wind which creates a current that is transmittable to a grid. as such, the form is freed of mechanically moving parts and instead becomes a sleek steel frame supporting a shear of horizontal tubes. more pragmatically, the lack of moving parts reduces maintenance costs, wear and tear and shadow casting as well as virtually eliminating noise pollution. the technology was developed by TU delft’s departments of chemical and aerospace engineering in conjunction with wageningen university and is slated to be the next phase of wind energy technology. while traditional turbines convert wind energy into mechanical energy that is then turned into electrical energy, the EWICON uses electro hydrodynamic atomisation wherein a high electric field is used to generate and charge particles simultaneously. the EWICON’s filleted rectangular form was integrated in mecanoo’s proposal for stadstimmerhuis 010 in rotterdam, which suggests that future applications of the technology are particularly relevant to urban architecture.




video diagramatically explains the EWICON

image © TU delft



prototype viewimage © mecanoo architects



possible applications in different sitesimage © TU delft



droplet movement diagramimage © TU delft



droplet movement at low wind speed image © TU delft



droplet movement at high wind speedimage © TU delft



test of the charged dropletsimage © TU delft



mecanoo architects had integrated the EWICON in building proposals, seen at the top of urban high-rises image © mecanoo architects

  • Wow amazing, congratulations guys! Would love to see what this leads to!

    Thijs Roumen says:
  • how would you keep birds from perching and leaving guano on its surfaces?

    What Would Dilla Do? says:
  • This is really interesting!
    I wonder if the charge needs to be scaled up in a production version of this device and if it is spraying charged droplets out into the wind, could it also be used for cooling similar to what was done for several large scale events recently?

    Jeffrey Veffer from Incite Design says:
  • I just listened to this whole rap and not one word about the device’s efficiency or output?

    szegedin says:
  • I just looked this up, and from the IEEE, it appear that this is not very efficient. Currently the system is about 7% efficient at converting wind energy into electricity. There are known improvements that could bring this into the 25% – 30% range. By comparison, modern horizontal axis wind generators are about 45% efficient.
    It is an interesting concept, but given the inefficiency, and other problems related to using water like this, I don’t see a bright future for the technology.

    JS Fine says:
  • How does this impact on wildlife such as birds etc?
    I know that is one of the concerns with windmills that they can cause deaths of birds flying too close to them.

    Oline Wright says:
  • Looks like the city pigeons will be very happy with these nesting sites.

    Samuel says:
  • what is the technology behind tis???

    Waqas Ahmad says:
  • Efficiency is secondary if the whole effort is small. Sea wind parks have the big problem with corrosion…but here I see also risks like clogging water nozzles.
    But…they seem to work also with very little wind.
    So, just spraying water into the wind makes electricity? If this is true, it will be a revolution, especially in wet countries and sea locations. Not in dry areas.

    How much clean water is required for 1kWh?

    Dirk16 says:
  • Built as a charging fence, this could be used extensivly in an urban setting.

    Dean says:

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