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While in Glasgow this week we had the pleasure of meeting Stephen Hurrel, a contemporary visual artist who works across all kinds of media and exploring a wide range of scientific collaborations, from marine ecology to seismic activity. His work is exquisite and we recommend checking out his newly redesigned website: http://www.hurrelvisualarts.com/.

In 2003, Stephen created The Sound of the Wind Looks Like This. The light-based installation reacts directly to wind speed and wind direction, and is powered by the wind.


Thank you to everyone who came out to the LAGI 2014 award ceremony at the Design Society to see the opening of the exhibition and the awards ceremony. For those of you who were unable to make it, below are some photos from the night. The exhibition will be up until November 7 so for those of you who plan to be in Copenhagen between now and then, please stop by. The Danish Design Centre is a wonderful place to visit, just across from Tivoli Garden. Thanks goes out to Maria, Birte, Kamilla, Morton, and Bobby and everyone at the Danish Design Centre for helping to make the event and the exhibition possible.


The three winning teams with Connie Hedegaard, EU Commissioner of Climate Action, who gave an inspiring talk on climate change and handed the awards to the winners that night. From left to right: Antonio Maccà (Third Place Winner with eMotions), Mateusz Góra and Agata Gryszkiewicz (Second Place Winning Team with Quiver), Connie Hedegaard, and Santiago Muros Cortés (First Place Winner with The Solar Hourglass).






From left to right: Trine Plambech (Alexandra Institute), Lea Schick (IT University), and Natalie Mossin (Partner at Smith Innovation and Head of the Danish Architects’ Association).


The Supercloud Team!


Marilu Valente, designer of Aetherius.




Thanks to our Media Partner, Shawati’ Magazine!


Connie Hedegaard with Santiago Muros Cortés, the designer of The Solar Hourglass (First Place Winner of LAGI 2014)




Thanks to Deborah Hosking for all of the amazing video work that is on display at the Exhibit, and for taking many of the photos in this blog post!










A big thanks to CPH Steel for fabricating the steel frames for the exhibition! They turned out more beautiful than we could have imagined and match our sketches exactly.


















And a huge thank you to Vester Kopi who printed all of the boards for the exhibit. They do really great work!




The beginning of the setup. Thanks to Gry Lund, LAGI 2014 project manager for helping to coordinate many of the details on the ground in Copenhagen.

“An hourglass to remind us…that as long as we take care of our environment, the energy will never run out.”
-Santiago Muros Cortés

The Solar Hourglass
First Place winner to the 2014 Land Art Generator Initiative Copenhagen design competition

Artist: Santiago Muros Cortés
Artist Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Energy Technologies: concentrated solar power (thermal beam-down tower with heliostats)
See bottom of this post for more information about the MASDAR precedent for this technology.
Annual Capacity: 6,000 MWh

View Design Boards

Rather than using sand to measure time, the Solar Hourglass uses the power of the sun to electrify hundreds of homes while providing a breathtaking setting for inspiration and relaxation. The installation consists of an upper and a lower bulb. Dozens of people can gather on the bottom bulb during the day, sheltered by the shade of the top bulb.

The project works as a solar central receiver, consisting of an arrangement of small flat mirrors that concentrate their reflection of solar energy on a tank holding a heating medium. Sun-tracking mirrors (heliostats) on top of the upper bulb reflect solar heat onto a cone-shaped set of smaller mirrors that concentrate these reflections and direct them down the neck of the installation.

The concentrated beam of solar heat then reaches a receiver containing heat transfer fluid (HTF) of molten nitrate salt, which is heated to temperatures over 600°C. The HTF is conveyed through a heat exchanger where water is turned into steam to run a turbine generator. A small percentage of the steam produced is released back into the neck of the hourglass, thus making the solar beam visible to the public.

The higher heat capacity of the molten salt allows for the system to store heat and produce energy during cloudy weather or even at night.

All the energy production and transformation components are hidden inside the bottom bulb and inaccessible to the general public, making it safe for public engagement.

At night, the beam turns off, and the thin layer of OLED (organic light-emitting diode) that covers the installation, lights up on the surface of both bulbs, transforming the hourglass into a pair of elegantly curved planes that shine on the edge of Refshaleøen.

The Solar Hourglass reminds us that energy is just as precious and fleeting as time, and thus we should take care of it, appreciate it, and not waste it. The project aims to send an optimistic message to those who visit: we still have time to make things right with the environment, and if we act now, it is not yet too late.




More about the technology: The solar thermal beam-down tower technology has been prototyped and tested by Masdar in Abu Dhabi.

It’s an advancement in concentrated solar power (CSP) tower technology, which collects the sun’s energy over a wide surface area and focuses it onto a single point by using sun-tracking mirrors. In conventional CSP towers, the collector is located at the top of the tower. Water is pumped up and through the collector to generate steam. In beam-down towers, the sunlight is reflected twice, once at the ground and again at the top of the tower. This allows the collector to be located at ground level, which does not require the water to be pumped and has the potential to provide a more efficient overall system. This PopSci article has a good overview of the installation at Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, and if you’re really interested in getting into the details, you can read Marwan Mokhtar and his colleagues’ paper on the performance of the system, which is published online at MIT.

What Santiago Muros Cortés has done with this latest CSP technology by incorporating it into such an elegant formal expression and symbol for our times is a kind of three-dimensional poetry. We hope that we can help to make his vision into a reality.

Note: This article was edited on October 13 to make some corrections to the energy calculation. Thanks to a friend at ABB for pointing out some inaccuracies in the figures previously stated. For those who are interested, please find below a summary of revised assumptions.

1. 50 m diameter area of heliostats = 1,963 square meters of surface area

2. maximum irradiance per square meter is 1,366 watts (0.001366 MW) = 2.682 MW of potential power falling within the area (0.001366 x 1,963)

3. 85% of the maximum irradiance can be expected at the site, which takes the power to 2.28 MW of potential power. This can be considered the peak or nameplate capacity of the installation (2.28 MWp)

4. A capacity factor of 32% has been presented as an assumption (in Denmark this could be an optimistic number and please see #6 below).

5. Running the estimate for a typical year is as follows: 2.28MWp x 365 days x 24 hours x 0.32 capacity factor = 6,391 MWh per year

6. The original estimate for the artwork’s annual capacity was slightly overestimated at 7,500 MWh. We have revised this number to 6,000 MWh (rounding down from 6,391 MWh). In the original article there was also the misstatement that the capacity was 6.2 MWp rather than 2.28 MWp. Additionally, imperfections in the mirrors, efficiency of the turbine, and other factors would also certainly affect the overall performance of the system, but we do not have the information needed at the concept level of design to incorporate these factors. As this is a concept proposal and the dimensional details are all subject to change, we appreciate your indulgence in the imperfection of the estimate of annual output. This applies to all LAGI design competition proposals.

7. The Land Art Generator Initiative does its best to check the accuracy of stated output numbers. It is important to note that the estimated output is just one of many criteria that are used by the jury when selecting the winning design. The complete list is as follows:

  • Adherence to the Design Guidelines and Submission Requirements;
  • The integration of the work into the surrounding environment and landscape;
  • The sensitivity of the work to the environment, and to local, and regional ecosystems;
  • The estimated amount of clean energy that can be produced by the work;
  • The way in which the work engages the public;
  • The embodied energy required to construct the work;
  • The perceived return on capital investment of the work;
  • Consideration of additional sustainable infrastructural benefits of the work besides energy production;
  • The originality and social relevance of the concept.

Quiver

Quiver
2nd Place Winner to the 2014 Land Art Generator Initiative Copenhagen design competition

Artist Team: Mateusz Góra, Agata Gryszkiewicz
Artist Location: Warsaw, Poland
Energy Technologies: biofuel, aeroelastic flutter (Windbelt™)
Annual Capacity: 550 MWh (223 MWh bio, 327 MWh Windbelt™)

View Design Boards

Quiver has two main elements: the garden and the tower.

The garden is a field of Miscanthus grass-energy crops that grows a maximum of four meters tall and can be harvested twice a year. Changing planting schemes offers diverse functional patterns and spaces for citizens and visitors. The grass grows well in blighted soils, assisting in their remediation over time by accumulating pollutants into its root systems.

At the far end of the park is the tower—a landmark that welcomes boats arriving to the city. The footbridge brings visitors to the top of the installation and to an expansive view of Copenhagen. As the Windbelts™ flutter in the wind, the panorama, while moving towards the top, is in continuous dynamic flux.

During the night, the tower has another active role, calling to mind a lighthouse. LED lighting reflects a visual representation of the current wind conditions in Copenhagen.

eMotions: Energy Motions and Art Emotions
3rd Place Winner to the 2014 Land Art Generator Initiative Copenhagen design competition

Artist Team: Antonio Maccà, Flavio Masi
Artist Location: Padova, Italy
Energy Technologies: photovoltaic panels, micro-scale vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT) and horizontal axis wind turbines (HAWT), stacked ceramic multilayer actuators, piezoelectric wind energy systems
Annual Capacity: 2,000 MWh

View Design Boards

eMotions showcases artistic interpretations of disparate Danish ecosystems, each varying in materials, energy technologies, dimensions, and textures. The installation places on display Denmark’s biodiversity while engaging different communities within the city.

The artwork is also meant to evoke the image of a large generator, its viewing loop representing the generator’s “belt” and the infinite production of clean energy through its micro-scale generators. The generators are listed below, each representing a type of ecosystem.

1. River is the public connecting loop with a piezoelectric floor made up of stacked, ceramic, multilayer actuators (SCMA). The actuators absorb energy from the movement of the people and convert it into electricity.

2. Beach is the harbor bath with a wooden amphitheater, realizing the transition from land to water as a terraced landscape where people can relax and reach the sea. The circles on the facade of the generator symbolize the beach waves and integrate horizontal axis wind turbines, varying in dimensions depending on the internal diameters.

3. Marine houses many activities, such as swimming, scuba diving and kayaking. The intersecting pattern of sinusoids symbolize the overlapping sea waves and integrate vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT).


4. Sand Dune represents the aeolian sediment transport of the migrating sand dunes. Its facade is composed of thin-film semitransparent photovoltaic panels and horizontal-axis wind turbines.

5. Lake draws its inspiration from the superimposition of waves onto the still surface of a lake. The structure supports semitransparent photovoltaic panels, which enclose a water playground.

6. Agricultural is made up of semitransparent photovoltaic panels that evoke the rotational, open-field production of agricultural crops. This “urban agriculture” garden showcases the biodiversity of plant life in Denmark, bringing knowledge of the country’s varied foods and plants to the public.

7. Arctic calls to mind a snowfall in a typical frozen arctic landscape and hosts an outdoor ice skating rink during winter. The floating snowflakes are oscillating piezoelectric energy systems, converting wind-induced vibrations into electrical power.

8. Grassland is composed of piezoelectric energy systems moved by the wind. The green area offers recreational open grassland for sports activities.

9. Forest is symbolized by a pattern of overlapping tree silhouettes that support vertical axis wind turbines.

10. Urban hosts a renewable energy museum showcasing a history of sustainable energy research and incorporates round microcrystalline photovoltaic panels of different diameters.

THE KYST

THE KYST
Submission to the 2014 Land Art Generator Initiative Copenhagen design competition

Artist Team: Janka Paulovics, Annika Janthur
Artist Location: : Berlin, Germany
Energy Technologies: piezoelectric discs and fibers

THE KYST is positioned between the poles of the natural, technical, and cultural history of the site, and the visionary all-encompassing and sustainable impetus of Copenhagen.

The form of the installation is inspired by the “phragmites” or reeds that are a very common part of Denmark’s coastal flora. Just like a field of reeds in a natural setting, THE KYST Energy Park consists of many densely placed stems in a wide swath along the water’s edge. They draw energy from their surroundings: the wind, the sea, the rain, and from their interaction with humans. Scaling the stems up to the size of a tree places the visitor in a fairy-tale environment, like Alice in Wonderland.

THE KYST consists of 1400 single stems that merge into a sculptural landscape installation. The installation occupies the water and the land at the same time, placing one-third of the stems in water and two-thirds on land. Concentrating the stems at the edge will have the effect of an iridescent installation with a moiré of alternating views as the beholder approaches the site.

As an ode to nature and a calligraphic element, the stems have leaf-like structures added to the stems to harvest energy as they move with the wind, water, or rain. Even more importantly, the leaves enable and encourage human interaction with visitors.

Piezoelectric Fiber Composites (PFCs) are placed inside the hollow structure of the stems to collect the energy from the leaves and swaying stems. The highest output can be generated when the stems catch their own resonance frequency and vibrate like a flagpole in the wind.

Ripple

Ripple
Submission to the 2014 Land Art Generator Initiative Copenhagen design competition

Artist Team: Junfeng Wang, Qiyao Li
Artist Location: New York City, USA
Energy Technologies: piezoelectric generators
Annual Capacity: 5,000 MWh

Bridging from water to sky, Ripple settles on a curved surface creating a harmonious conversation between two parallel worlds. It embodies a rhythmic, unitized shape inspired by the form of water, generating electricity by harvesting kinetic energy.

The light, aluminum panels reflecting the surrounding colors of the sky and water blend into the environment, flickering in the wind or resting in stasis. The process of energy production is displayed as a pleasant experience for visitors, blurring the line between the artificial and the natural.

Ripple employs natural power as well as human engagement as its kinetic power source onsite. Movements in the surrounding environment—prevailing wind, birds’ intermittent resting, people walking, or activities above the panel—trigger the panel’s vibration, which is passed down to piezoelectric generator cells. The spring at the bottom of each rod helps to regulate the vibration cycle and confine the movement of panels, on which visitors can walk.

Specific panel installation and material varies slightly depending on the energy input. Side-wind panels are mainly located at the area close to the water frontage and are placed parallel to the ground plane. They are driven by wind power coming from the side of almost all directions. Front-wind triggered panels take advantage of prevailing wind from the southwest. Flat panels define the common pedestrian flow path on site, which is distributed around the entrance and connects to the water taxi terminal. Flexible event panels have various degrees of curvature for mixed uses.

Zephyrus Park

Zephyrus Park
A submission to the 2014 Land Art Generator Initiative Copenhagen design competition

Artist Team: Mike Sollenberger
Artist Location: Philadelphia (PA), USA
Energy Technologies: wind turbines within acceleration vaults
Annual Capacity: 250 MWh

Zephyrus Park harnesses the power of available wind that blows across the harbor of Copenhagen. Wind vector and sun angles form vaults that funnel wind into an array of wind turbines, amplifying wind speed, and increasing the efficiency with which each turbine produces energy for the city of Copenhagen. On the surface, a park provides community space along with semi-private areas created with the topography.

The vaults are set up to collect wind as much as possible throughout the year. The five intake vaults are positioned to take advantage of the abundant west wind. The funnels significantly increase the wind speed so that each turbine produces much more energy, allowing for a lower number of turbines.

The connection between surface and interior is made at the harbor bus dock, which allows a view deep into the vaults to see the turbines at work. This will be the most heavily accessed entry to the site and so will give users an idea of what is happening below as they inhabit the park above.

The By-Cycle

The By-Cycle
Submission to the 2014 Land Art Generator Initiative Copenhagen design competition

Artist Team: Kenneth Ip, Joey Yim
Artist Location: Hong Kong
Energy Technologies: wind microturbines from repurposed bicycle rims

A well-known and widely discussed feature of Copenhagen’s sustainable development is its bicycle infrastructure. Over one third of people living in Copenhagen commute to work or school by bicycle, and bicycle ownership in the city is upwards of 90%.

Bicycles produce no pollutants when they are being peddled around the city, but what becomes of the bicycle when it has passed its usable lifespan? And what becomes of the abandoned bicycles that amount to approximately 13,000 each year?

What if old and abandoned bicycles were reintroduced back into the sustainable ecosystem of Copenhagen? Although they may no longer be suitable to be used on the road again, their basic framework and structure allows them to be recycled for another purpose. Instead of disposing of them as waste, these bicycles could be transformed into a meaningful part of Copenhagen’s ambitious plan to be carbon neutral by 2025.

THE BY-CYCLE transforms old bicycles into a wind farm, harnessing the natural resources of the city while making use of what would otherwise be wasted resources. The bicycle is deconstructed into its basic elements—its frame and its rims—and the individual parts are reassembled into a tree-like structure. Each rim is then fitted with polycarbonate fins to catch the wind, thus allowing the disused bicycle to be readapted as a windmill. Waste becomes useful again.

Windshape

Windshape
Submission to the 2014 Land Art Generator Initiative Copenhagen design competition

Artist Team: Manon Robert, Martin Le Carboulec, Marc Antoine Galup
Artist Location: Seoul, South Korea
Energy Technologies: piezoelectric fabric, rotating electromagnetic generators

Wind speed is transformed into energy with Windshape. The 302 poles, each supporting several piezoelectric textile banners, reshape and transform the site according to the natural wind direction.

As the wind can come from any direction and change quickly, the site will never look the same from one visit to the next. To engage the public in the process, the dimensions of each sail panel are imagined at human scale. Visitors will enjoy getting lost in the changing spaces and observing others as they pass between the sails.

Some sails are intentionally fixed in order to create a passage through the site to the entrance and water taxi terminal. The others are completely free, but can be temporarily fixed by users who would like to modulate the space. These outdoor rooms created by the sail rotations can be both intimate and public.

Several factors inform the design of the sail. The main inspiration was a study of windsurfing sails and their fabrication. A succession of different types of layers on the surface of the sails (aramid fiber scrim and mylar protection) provides tensile strength and protects the piezoelectric fabric layer.

The fabric provides an estimated output power density in the range of 1.10–5.10_W /cm2 at applied wind pressures in the range of 0.02–0.10 MPa. In addition, the dynamo system at the base converts rotational energy with an estimated peak output power of 3.5W. LED lights located in the poles softly illuminate the area at night, making it visible from the opposite shore as a reminder of the power of Copenhagen wind.

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