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.

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