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Anders Bekeken

Why The Ewicon Dutch Invention Can Send Wind Turbines To The Past by Innovative Techs

Geschreven op 11-10-2021 - Erik van Erne. Geplaatst in Energie en Besparing Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Who would have thought that oil would become the most powerful impetus for the development of wind energy in the 20th century?

More precisely, the oil embargo imposed by the five OPEC Arab member states and Iran against the countries that supported Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Among them were the USA, Japan, Canada, and several other countries.

The ensuing oil crisis forced the world to look at renewable energy sources, in particular wind energy, in a new way.

Two years after the start of the oil crisis in the United States, the first wind farm was launched, which was able to provide electricity to 4,000 homes.

15 years later, in 1990, 46 wind farms were already operating in the United States. Today, more than one and a half thousand wind turbines power 38 million homes across America.

‘Challenge the future’ is the motto of Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), one of the leading technical universities in Europe. Therein lies precisely the focus of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science’s (EWI) research into alternative energy generation.

The prototype EWICON (Electrostatic Wind energy CONvertor) was designed as part of this research. The technology was developed by the EWI faculty in partnership with Wageningen University and Research Centre and commercial parties as part of an economy-ecology-technology government programme.

The revolutionary wind energy convertor transforms wind energy into electricity without the use of moving mechanical parts, resulting in significantly less wear and tear, lower maintenance costs and no noise issues or overshadowing.

This makes the turbine ideal for offshore installations or in the city, for instance on a high rooftop. The abstract appearance of the EWICON comprises a fluid, circular steel frame that encases a framework of horizontal steel pipes.

Inside the framework, charged water droplets are created which are blown by the wind. The movement of the droplets generates an electrical current that can be distributed to the electricity grid.

Since March 2013 the EWICON prototype is on display in front of the EWI faculty building in Mekel Park, a green campus designed by Mecanoo. Besides connecting the different faculties of TU Delft, Mekel Park functions as a meeting place and open laboratory for students and staff.

See also: The Dutch Windwheel (Bizonbox) in Rotterdam: A Sustainable Icon and An Icon For Sustainability

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