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Artist's depiction of the futuristic-looking skyscraper. Photo via Doepel Strijkers.

In the future, we’ll be couch potatoes inside wind turbines

Some folks aren’t big on the sites of a giant windmill towering over their city, but what if you could throw a party or watch a movie inside one? Better yet, what if you could live in one?

A new concept design from Dutch architects Doepel Strijkers, the Dutch Wiindwheel is a wind turbine for the modern and growing bustling city. A silent, low-maintenance alternative to modern wind turbines, the Windwheel uses wind, water and an electric field to directly produce a current through its electrostatic wind-energy-converter.

According to a Popular Science report on the project, early testing with a small tabletop model reveal that it’s only 3 percent efficient, compared with a typical wind turbine’s 45 percent efficiency. However, if the technology advances on schedule, its creators say a 570-foot version could grace the Rotterdam skyline by the early 2020s. Researchers believe that the turbine could generate 1 megawatt of electricity (Enough to roughly power 1,000 U.S. homes, according to IFL Science).

And the coolest part about a giant futuristic structure in the middle of town? People will be able to live, work, and dine inside the self-powered skyscraper.

 Photo via Doepel Strijkers

Photo via Doepel Strijkers

Popular Science stated that the building’s design consists of two concentric rings atop an underwater foundation. The inner ring will be constructed of a steel frame and a glass exterior, which will provide sweeping views of the city for a restaurant, a seven-story hotel, 72 apartments, and office space located within.

“We wanted a 100-percent-sustainable building that serves as a platform for all kinds of innovations,” stated developer Lennart Graaff.

For more information on the innovative WindWheel, visit the project website here, but make sure to turn your translator on as the entire site is in Dutch (Good thing it’s got pictures!).

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