The technology was developed by Johan Smit and Dhiradi Djairam, scientists at Delft University of Technology. A scale model of the Ewicon has been built by Mecanoo Architects and is located in front of the faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science at the same university.
At the moment, the researchers have created just a few small-scale working prototypes of the Ewicon, as the team needs more resources to build a larger model.
Ewicon, which is shortage of “Electrostatic WInd Energy CONverter”, is able to generate electricity from wind energy, but not by transforming mechanical power into electrical energy. It does this by pushing charged particles through wind in a direction which is opposite of an electrical field. The device has a steel frame that holds nearly 40 horizontal insulated tubes and performs a process called “electrospraying”, which means that each tube releases positively charged water molecules in the air through several electrodes and nozzles.
Positively charged particles normally follow the anode, but when the wind pushes the particle away from the negative electrode, it increases its potential electrical energy that can then be collected.
The wind turbine consists of a battery, inverter, HVDC (High-Voltage, Direct Current) source, pump and charging system. A metal plate, which is supported by ceramic insulators, holds all of the components. The insulated metal plate acts as a capacitor, which is charged by the removal of the charged particles.
The advantage of this device is that there are no moving parts, such as rotors and blades, resulting in less vibration, less mechanical wear, less noise and less friction. And, of course, in the ability to be made in many different forms.