Bladeless Windmill from Delft

Compiled by Sterling D. Allan
Pure Energy Systems News

Joe Capraro brought this story fromĀ TheAtlanticCities to my attention.

Even though the title of this story may seem like an April Fools prank, it’s not. But it is a fun coincidence that this story comes out of Delft University, which has been playing prominently in our news lately, with Assistant Professor Jorge Duarte being from there. He is going to be present at the demonstration of the Yildiz all-magnet motor in Geneva next week.

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Invention of the Day: A Bladeless Windmill

Henry Grabar; Mar 29, 2013

Delft-U-Bladeless-wind_600Top image courtesy of Mecanoo Architects.

It may look like a giant airplane window strung with Venetian blinds, but this structure, designed by Dutch architecture firm Mecanoo and installed at the Delft University of Technology this month, is a model of a machine that would convert wind to energy without any moving parts — any mechanical moving parts, at least. The technology, developed by the Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science faculty at Delft, uses the movement of electrically charged water droplets to generate power. How does this work? A handy video explains:

The prototype of the EWICON (Electrostatic Wind Energy Converter), as envisioned by Mecanoo, has the potential to change the use of wind technology. The EWICON absorbs little wear and tear, requires hardly any maintenance, but most importantly, it makes no noise and casts no moving shadows, two of the principal complaints that hinder windmill installation in the United States.

This, Mecanoo believes, makes it the ideal feature for urban environments — they’ve already incorporated them into their design for a project in Rotterdam.

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