Invention of the Day: A Bladeless Windmill

<a href="http://www.mecanoo.nl/Default.aspx?tabid=116&DetailId=847&pcode=A498">Mecanoo</a>

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

This story first appeared on the Atlantic Cities website and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

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.

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.