The Netherlands has been building windmills for some 800 years.
But a new structure to be built in the port city of Rotterdam takes that tradition — and throws it into the future.
At first glance, it looks like two gigantic glass-and-steel rings floating on water.
But the inner ring is actually a “windwheel,” a bladeless wind turbine that doesn’t spin.
The silent wheel promises to be powerful enough to partly fuel the 570-foot structure — packed with a hotel, 72 apartments, and 40 “Ferris wheel” rotating cabins that run on rails.
It’s a windmill that you can live inside of.
The Dutch Windwheel is an initiative of the Windwheel Corporation, a group of companies based in the Dutch city of Rotterdam, which is where the structure will be erected. It will take almost 10 years for the ambitious idea to become reality, according to the architects.
The Windwheel shows the slick potential of wind power — a sector that’s just beginning to catch on. Though the sun’s energy is already helping run buildings and roads, wind has a long way to go before it becomes the fuel of choice. However, architects are already taking note of the potential of wind energy. Bahrain, for instance, has two 50-floor skyscrapers that are powered by wind energy. Add to this the fact that the global wind market grew a record 44% in 2014.
But what sets the windwheel apart from other wind power systems is the use of positively charged water molecules to generate energy.
Look closely, and you’ll see horizontal tubes stretching across the center of the inner loop. Those tubes will be fitted with thousands of nozzles that will spray positively charged water particles into the air. Next, blowing wind will push the droplets against the beams’ electric field, creating a negative charge. The result: electricity, without even having to move the wheel. You could also watch a video to see how the process unfolds.
Besides, the structure will draw some of its energy from the sun. But the Windwheel is more than a powerhouse. The outer ring will not be too different from a massive glass Ferris wheel with its foundations within the water. Visitors will be able to enjoy a 30-minute ride going up and then underwater — complete with smart walls that will act as a virtual tour guide.
The inner ring will be a turbine, a hotel, and a set of housing units — all rolled into one.
The company hasn’t revealed how much the Windwheel will cost, but promises that the structure will be self-sustaining. According to the planners, it will take two to four years for the motionless turbine to become as financially viable as the existing wind power systems.
Though it’s still years to go before the windwheel starts spinning, the concept has certainly taken eco-friendly tourism to a whole new level.
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