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Ewicon – The World’s First Blade-less Wind Turbine

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A lot of focus on generating green electricity is being paid these days. You’ll find a couple of other articles here as well, all focused on new and innovative ideas for generating electricity. Scientists are working to come up with more efficient, less polluting means of generating electricity. We have flying windmills, solar powered ships and what not. However, this one is somewhat much more scientific and a bit ‘technical’ so as to speak. On the other hand, it has zero ‘pollution factor’ and also makes no noise. The idea involves electric fields and charged particles (we will talk about that later as well, and in detail. Better put your scientist hat on folks!).

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The technology, which is very impressive, was conceived at Delft University of Technology by two scientists; Johan Smit and Dhiradi Djairam. The project has been named Ewicon, which is an abbreviation for ‘Electrostatic WInd Energy CONverter’. One may find a scale model of Ewicon located in front of the faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science at the same university. The scale model has been built by Mecanoo architects.  Right now, the researchers have created only a few small-scale functional prototypes of the Ewicon, since building a larger model requires much more resources and funding. Let’s move on to how our fascinating gadget works! Unlike the conventional methods that make use of wind for creating electricity, the Ewicon doesn’t convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. Rather it makes use of charged particle movement opposing an electrical field. The basic idea, in simple words, charged particles are pushed through wind in a direction which is opposite to that of an electric field. The gadget comes with a steel frame that houses almost 40 horizontal insulated tubes and performs the process of ‘Electro spraying’. The process is simple; each tube releases water molecules in the air, the water molecules are positively charged, through a number of nozzles and electrodes. Positive is attracted to negative; we all know that and obviously the positively charged particles tend to move towards anode. However, when the wind pushes the particles away from the negative electrode, the potential energy is increased and can be collected. Viola! There’s how this baby works, quite different than other electricity generation methods, right? Ewicon,  is comprised of a battery, an inverter, HVDC (High-Voltage, Direct Current) source, pump and charging system. All the components are held together by metal plate which is in turn supported by insulators made of ceramic. This insulated metal plate works as a capacitor, being charged by the removal of the charged particles.

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

It is a smart design, wouldn’t you agree? Let’s have a look at its advantages; no wear and tear, since there are practically no moving parts involved. No rotors or blades and as a result there are no vibrations, no friction and no noise.

 

 

 

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