Mecanoo

Could this be the answer to urban wind power enthusiasts?

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.

Top image courtesy of Mecanoo Architects.

HT: Designboom.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a map comparing the sizes of several cities
    Maps

    The Commuting Principle That Shaped Urban History

    From ancient Rome to modern Atlanta, the shape of cities has been defined by the technologies that allow commuters to get to work in about 30 minutes.

  2. a photo of a woman on a SkyTrain car its way to the airport in Vancouver, British Columbia.
    Transportation

    In the City That Ride-Hailing Forgot, Change Is Coming

    Fears of congestion and a powerful taxi lobby have long kept ride-hailing apps out of transit-friendly Vancouver, British Columbia. That’s about to change.  

  3. Environment

    How City Failures Affect Trust in Climate Planning

    Cities may struggle to gain support for climate action plans because they haven’t dealt with infrastructure issues that regularly afflict residents.

  4. People standing in line with empty water jugs.
    Environment

    Cape Town’s ‘Day Zero’ Water Crisis, One Year Later

    In spring 2018, news of the water crisis in South Africa ricocheted around the world—then the story disappeared. So what happened?

  5. How To

    Want Solar Panels on Your Roof? Here's What You Need to Know

    A handy reference for navigating an emerging industry.

×