A new firm in the Netherlands is hoping to create an icon for the country’s sustainable energy innovations with The Dutch Windwheel. Consisting of two glass rings, the conceptualized design fuses sustainability and tourism into one stunning structure.
The inner ring will house 72 apartments and 160 hotel rooms, along with restaurants and shops. The outer ring will contain 40 cabins that move on rails around the structure, like the London Eye, providing views of Rotterdam. The outer ring will also feature ‘smart walls’ that will have information about the city projected onto the walls as visitors move.
The Dutch Windwheel is also packed with sustainable features including rainwater collection, passive solar design, waste-to-biogas conversion, and photovoltaic-thermal (PVT) modules, but at the center of it all is a silent, blade-less wind turbine.
Dubbed EWICON, the Electrostatic Wind Energy Converter is a new sustainable technology using a series of tubes strung through the center of the inner ring and lined with negative electrodes that are sprayed with positively-charged water drops. As the wind pushes the water through the tubes, energy is harnessed from the resistance of the electrodes.
Since the EWICON technology is still in infancy stages, the
team must first prove they can scale-up the innovation, but with high hopes,
they expect the building to be a reality by 2025.