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Dutch Group Rethinks Wind Infrastructure

Monday, February 1, 2016

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Despite the many wind farms that dot the landscape on land and offshore, the classic wind turbine isn’t the only structure that can turn wind into energy, according to the Dutch.

Work has begun on the Dutch Windwheel, a 174-meter (about 243 feet) tall structure in Rotterdam that will be both energy generator, homestead and tourist attraction, The Construction Index reported.

Windwheel Corporation
Photos: Windwheel Corporation

The Dutch Windwheel in Rotterdam rethinks the wind turbine by converting wind into electricity without the use of moving parts while providing opportunities for housing tourism.

The innovative project is meant to serve as an example of the ways energy, water, technology and building technology can intersect.

Energy, Tourism and Accommodations

The Dutch Windwheel is designed to convert wind, as well as sun and biomass, into electricity without moving parts using a technique called EWICON. EWICON stands for Electrostatic Windenergy Convertor.

The technology, developed at Delft University, makes use of a framework of steel tubes for the conversion, according to Inhabitat. This technique eliminates noise and increases ease of maintenance.

But unlike traditional wind turbines, the design—comprised of two of three-dimensional rings and a light, open steel-and-glass construction—allows for mixed-use applications.

The inner ring will contain a top-class panorama restaurant, sky lobby and hotel and apartments, according to the project website.

Windwheel Corporation

The inner ring of the steel-and-glass construction design will contain a top-class panorama restaurant, sky lobby and hotel and apartments.

The outer ring will incorporate 40 rotating cabins on a rail system where visitors can take in a view of the city from the top of the wheel.

Additionally, because the foundation is built underwater in the area’s wetlands, not only will the structure look as if it is floating, but it will also provide an underwater experience where tourists will learn the story of Dutch water management.

A Sustainable Landmark

The Dutch Windwheel is intended to showcase the possibilities of renewable energy and a circular and inclusive economy. By implementing technical and technological innovations, it will provide practical research into local energy production, a closed water system, a smart grid and dynamic material use.

As part of its design, the structure will include solar photovoltaics and be able to capture rainwater, recycle tap water and produce biogas from organic waste produced by the structure’s residents.

 

Windwheel Corporation

By implementing technical and technological innovations, it will provide practical research into local energy production, a closed water system, a smart grid and dynamic material use.

Additionally, its dynamic design, using materials local to the area, allows for later integration of upgrades as well as disassembly and reuse. According to the Windwheel Corporation, the structure sets a new standard for sustainable building and smart city development.

The Companies behind the Wheel

The Dutch Windwheel is an initiative of the Windwheel Corporation, a consortium of Rotterdam-based companies BLOC, DoepelStrijkers and Meysters. In close collaboration with leading companies and research institutes, they started an alliance of 11 partners: AM and Royal BAM Group, Deltares, Dura Vermeer, ECN, Eneco, InnovationQuarter, Mammoet, SPIE, TNO and the Windwheel Corporation.

Through this program and using all kinds of technological innovations, they will anticipate contributing to a clean, digital economy.

   

Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Glass; Latin America; North America; Program/Project Management; Solar energy; Steel; Wind Farm; Wind Towers

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (2/1/2016, 9:05 AM)

Sounds interesting and complex. I would be quite interested to see how much energy is actually produced by the 3 methods.


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