A Futuristic ‘Habitable’ Take On The Traditional Dutch Windmill


It is not often that public installations go the green way by actually having a positive effect on the environment. Well, the above pictured ‘installation’ Dutch Windwheel does one better by being envisaged to be a giant wind turbine of sorts, while also doubling as an imposing habitable unit. A massive conceptual structure concocted by TU Delft (who worked on the actual technology, initially) and its partners (including BLOC, DoepelStrijkers and NBTC Holland Marketing), the design is contrived for the Dutch port city of Rotterdam, and will boast of a circular frame of steel and glass standing high amid the surrounding wetlands.

As we can make out from the images (below), the Dutch Windwheel will be flaunting its double rings – with the outer ring comprises of 40 capsules that will provide breathtaking views of the surrounding cityscape for the visitors of Rotterdam. On the other hand, the inner ring is envisioned to have around 72 apartments accompanied by 160 hotel guest rooms, retail outlets and a restaurant at the crown-top – thus transforming the circular ambit into a mixed use space.


Coming to the technological side of affairs, the Dutch Windwheel will exhibit the EWICON (electrostatic wind energy converter) that generates clean energy by the wind effect on charged particles displacements that take place in an opposite direction of an electrical field. In other words, the EWICON eschews motional mechanical parts, thus effectively upholding the virtues of lesser noise and better maintenance.

Interestingly, the scope of wind energy is not the only avenue of green technology in use at the Dutch Windwheel. The installation/habitation unit will also boast of rainwater collection systems, tap water recycling mechanism, water management systems and the capacity to produce bio-gas from the organic waste of the inhabitants themselves. These will be complemented by an array of solar panels, thus making the sustainable ambit a ‘full circle’ – as a figurative yet practical support for the imposing circular rings.



Solar chargers for mobile devices

The solar panel technology is changing rapidly. This change allows for portable solar
chargers today with foldable design. In the field of solar chargers, there is an
incredible variety of features, accessories, and quality between products.

The first phone with official case is Jolla, powered by Sailfish OS.

Today you can choose between a super efficient charger (monocrystalline) or lightweight
charger (CIGS thin film).

Photovoltaic cells based on thin layers are a good option for mobility because they
are lighter. But they have an efficiency (10% to 12%) lower than that of monocrystalline
silicon and are also less durable.

If you are looking for a lightweight and affordable solar panel, CGIS of thin film
cells are a good choice. If you want a more robust loader, choose a single-crystal
It is larger and heavier, but also more durable. As technology improves,
monocrystalline panels are becoming more portable.

Before buying a solar charger for mobile phone, you should check the battery capacity
expressed in mAh. Ideally, this capability must be greater than the capacity of the
smartphone battery to recharge. It should also monitor the year of marketing.
The latest models of solar panels are more efficient and can charge the battery faster.

It must still rely usually ten hours of sunshine to recharge the backup battery completely.
That is why most solar chargers can charge the smartphone sector too.

A good alternative to solar chargers is a shell battery or an external battery .
External batteries are cheaper, lighter and can recharge a smartphone 3-6 times.

Solar Charger: the criteria for choosing
A solar charger is an effective accessory to recharge a smartphone, a GoPro or GPS
in suitable conditions of sunshine. It is a useful accessory for outdoor activities:
hiking, sailing, camping, camper, climbing, mountaineering, kayaking …

Here are three essential criteria before choosing a solar charger:

1. The output power: it is expressed in watts (W) and clearly indicated for each charger.
The Goal Zero Nomad 7 has a power of 7 W. The output power is important but you also
learn about the amperage of USB outputs. The RAVPower 15W charger has a USB 1 Amp output
to recharge the smartphone and a USB output to charge 2 amps tablets. 2 A USB port iPad
charging faster than the port with 1A.

2. The weight: this is an essential criterion for most outdoor activities like hiking or
climbing. By cons, it is not important for the boat or camper. Some solar chargers are
very compact and lightweight.

3. Versatility: it is an important consideration if you want to charge multiple devices
such as a smartphone, tablet, GPS, GoPro, etc. If you only want to charge your mobile
phone, this criterion does not count and a simple charger may suffice.

4. Compatibility: This is an obvious criterion. Most solar chargers are compatible with
most smartphone models.

More information about cool gadgets, innovation and differentiation you can find here.

Onyx Solar – smart building solutions


Onyx Solar is a business committed to the development of intelligent solutions for the sustainable integration of solar energy photovoltaic in buildings.

These solutions contemplate the integration of façades and ventilated roof façade as one of the principle constructive solutions designed by our equipment with the objective to optimize not only the production of energy but also to make important energy savings for the building.

ONYX SOLAR © is a company devoted to the design and manufacture of photovoltaic building materials, commonly known as Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV).

These materials not only generate electricity from the sun, but also provide thermal and acoustic insulation, natural lighting, and UV/IR filters in innovative, state-of-the-art designs.

Among the solar solutions that ONYX SOLAR © offers, the most popular include photovoltaic skylights, curtain walls and other façade systems.

Onyx has already completed some of the most innovative solar installations in the United States, such as the largest photovoltaic integrated skylight in the country at Novartis Pharmaceutical’s headquarters in East Hanover, New Jersey.

Onyx Solar has launched the first colored photovoltaic glass adapted to construction standards. From this moment on, photovoltaic energy can be integrated as any other building construction material, or combined with them into buildings.

There are 4 standard sizes and almost infinite possibilities of configuration in color and transparency. Therefore, Onyx Solar photovoltaic glass can be incorporated in any type of building: Curtain walls, façades, brise soleil, skylights… Even a PV walkable anti-slip floor, a solution developed by Onyx Solar which is already available in the market.

  • Smart green product: Photovoltaic integrated semi-transparent glass as tailor made solution. Main applications: skylights, ventilated facades, canopies, walkable roof, curtain wall and brise soleil. The photovoltaic constructive material developed by Onyx allows the customer to recover the money invested in its acquisition and installation with a payback time of 2 years. Comfort and safety are increased minimizing the amount of UVA and infrared radiations (filtered by the photovoltaic glass) which allows controlling efficiently the temperature of the building (optimizing the energy consumption of the building) without renouncing to the light provided for the semi-transparent photovoltaic glass. Available in different technologies, colours, thickness and sizes. One of the principal applications of this laminated glass is use as ventilated photovoltaic facade or roof for which a complete package of services and complementary products has been developed to facilitate the installation in any type of building.

Congratulations to Onyx Solar- MOST INNOVATIVE GLASS PRODUCT AWARD 2015 ! It has just been published the news giving them the Prize as the most innovative product of 2015.