Dutch researchers have recently been involved in creating a bladeless wind turbine, which produces electricity through charged water droplets instead of turning blades.
Currently, wind turbines produce electricity by converting kinetic energy from the rotating blades into electrical energy. The bladeless turbine, known as the Ewicon (Electrostatic Wind Energy CONverter) can create electricity directly from the wind.
The turbine works by displacing charged particles in the opposite direction of an electrical field. Composed of a steel frame with around 40 rows of insulated tubes, each tube features electrodes which release positively charged water into the air. These particles would naturally move towards the negative electrode, however, the wind pushes them in the opposite direction, increasing the potential energy which can be collected.
One advantage of this new design is that it can come in a number of shapes and sizes, making it suitable for various sites. Additionally, there are no moving parts, meaning they are much quieter, and there is less mechanical wear and tear, reducing maintenance costs.
As it stands, small prototypes have been created but the company are seeking funds to create a larger model. Bladeless turbines could be the future of wind energy!