You don’t need to travel far in the Dutch countryside before you come across a traditional windmill. Now a consortium of Rotterdam-based companies are planning to build a massive wind-powered generator structure in Rotterdam harbor that will generate energy without using rotating blades. The innovative ‘Windwheel’ will work on the EWICON (Electrostatic WInd energy CONverter) principle developed at TU Delft and Wageningen University backed by a government economy/ecology innovation program.
The striking design has no moving parts but will use wind power to move charged particles (water droplets in this case) against the direction of an electric field. Charge will be transferred to a plate and then fed into the grid. Plans for the proposed generator structure are ambitious and indicate that it will contain a 160-room hotel built on seven floors, 72 residential apartments, a restaurant and other visitor attractions including an outer glass and steel ring structure containing viewing gondolas.
To optimize its green credentials the Windwheel will also be equipped with solar PV panels and water usage throughout the building will be carefully managed. A biogas converter is planned to recycle waste products. The consortium made up of Rotterdam-based companies BLOC, Meysters, DoepelStrijkers and NBTC Holland Marketing plan for the structure to be a showcase of Dutch Clean Technology and will provide a continuous platform to demonstrate future technological innovations.