TecKnow of the day
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.
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.
Energy output would be dependent not only on the wind speed, but also the number of droplets, the amount of charge placed on the droplets, and the strength of the electric field.
According to the developers, the system could easily be installed on land or sea, much like regular wind turbines, but the design is particularly suited to urban areas. Expansive wind farms usually aren’t feasible in big cities due to a lack of space, but one or more EWICONs could be incorporated into existing architecture just by altering it’s shape. Also, with a lack of moving parts, it would require less maintenance while producing less noise.