EWICON wind energy converter unveiled: wind-'mill' without moving parts

In March 2013 TU Delft and its partners unveiled the EWICON. Scientific data has shown that the principle works on a small scale. However there is no evidence that this principle is suitable for use on a commercial scale. At present TU Delft is not actively involved in the further development of the EWICON.

A wind- ’mill’ with no moving parts? Since Wednesday, 27 March 2013, a model has been on display outside the building of the faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). The model-EWICON (Electrostatic WInd Energy CONvertor) was designed by Mecanoo architects. The technology was developed by TU Delft in a consortium with Wageningen UR and commercial businesses*) as part of the Dutch government's economy/ecology/technology programme. This pioneering wind energy converter can convert wind energy into electricity without the use of moving parts. This means there is far less wear and tear, maintenance costs are lower and there is no nuisance due to noise or shadows. This means that the turbine is ideally suited for installation offshore or in urban areas, for example on the roof of a high-rise building.

The model-EWICON is quite abstract in appearance. A fluid steel frame in the shape of a rectangular zero surrounds a framework of horizontal steel tubes. Within the framework, charged droplets are formed, which are then blown away by the wind. The movement of the droplets produces electric power that can be transferred to the electricity grid. In 2009, Mecanoo used the EWICON in their design of the Stadstimmerhuis 010 building in Rotterdam, with two EWICONS being deployed to create the 010 symbol on the roof. The EWICON will be developed further if funding is secured for follow-up research.

*) Nuon, Medspray, Stanmax, Volker Wessels

More information:

  • Prof. Johan Smit (+31 (0)6-21575278) or Dr Dhiradj Djairam (+31 (0)6-41313637) at TU Delft for the EWICON technology
  • Ir. Francine Houben from Mecanoo architects for the design of the-EWICON model (+31(0)15-2798100)
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