Dutch Windwheel combines generation with housing

A futuristic wind turbine proposed for construction in the Netherlands promises to harness green energy as well as providing people with a home.

The Dutch Windwheel is an ambitious concept that makes use of EWICON (electrostatic wind energy converter) technology to generate electricity without moving parts. It will also feature apartments, a restaurant and a hotel.

The concept of electrostatic wind conversion was developed from research conducted at Delft University – where it was the subject of a doctoral dissertation in 2008 – and its advantage is that there’s no moving rotor compared to a traditional turbine.

The Dutch bladeless turbine will work by charging positive particles – water droplets – and letting the wind blow them away from a negative ion collector. The design consists of a double-ring construction with a light, open steel and glass construction. The foundations are submerged so it looks as if the wheel is floating.

“This pioneering wind turbine converts wind energy with a framework of steel tubes into electricity without moving mechanical parts,” the company said on its website.

However, there is the question of how much renewable energy the wheel will actually be able to produce since it’s expected to be far less efficient than a traditional wind turbine, and whether it would be more practical to use another source of renewable energy for it. The company posted no power production figures.

It will also showcase a number of sustainable design practices, such as rainwater collection passive solar design, waste-to-biogas conversion, and PVT modules.

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