Neu: Windturbine ohne Flügel

Elektrisch geladene Wassertropfen

Holländische Forscher haben einen Windstrom-Generator entwickelt: EWICON, eine flügellose Wind-“Mühle” ohne bewegliche Teile, die mittels geladener Wassertröpfchen Strom produziert. Auf dem Campus der Technischen Universität Delft ist seit kurzem ein Prototyp des neuartigen Kraftwerks installiert. Der Electrostatic Wind Energy Convertor besteht aus einem etwa drei Meter hohen Rahmen, in dem zahlreiche Rohre übereinander angebracht sind.

Dutch researchers have developed the EWICON, a bladeless windmill with no moving parts tha...Jedes Rohr ist mit Elektroden und Düsen bestückt, die kontinuierlich Wassertropfen abgeben. Diese sind positiv geladen – zum Beispiel durch einen hohen Salzgehalt. Weht der Wind diese Tropfen nun davon, dann entsteht elektrischer Strom. Und den kann man ins Stromnetz einspeisen – wenn es gelingt, den Effekt entscheidend zu verstärken.

EWICON bladeless wind turbine generates electricity using charged water droplets

Dutch researchers have developed the EWICON, a bladeless “windmill” with no moving parts that produces electricity by pushing charged water droplets into the wind.

Wind energy may be one of the more sustainable sources of power available, but the spinning blades of conventional wind turbines require regular maintenance and have attracted criticism from bird lovers. That might explain why we’ve seen wind turbine prototypes that enclose the blades in a chamber or replace them entirely with a disc-like system. But researchers in the Netherlands set out to eliminate the need for a mechanical component entirely and created the EWICON, a bladeless wind turbine with no moving parts that produces electricity using charged water droplets.

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. 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.

Where most wind turbines generate electricity through mechanical energy, the EWICON (short for Electrostatic WInd energy CONvertor) creates potential energy with charged particles – in this case, water droplets. The current design consists of a steel frame holding a series of insulated tubes arranged horizontally. Each tube contains several electrodes and nozzles, which continually release positively-charged water particles into the air. As the particles are blown away, the voltage of the device changes and creates an electric field, which can be transferred to the grid for everyday use.