· July 2009

July 2009

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Since the competition has not yet been held, the principal artists have created some conceptual images to evoke ideas about what potential LAGI installations could look like and how many homes they could power.

Korfakhan Necklace: 30MW

Consists of 832 wave energy collecting devices that resemble in their above-water sculptural form the individual ornaments of a necklace. The long tendril shapes that they form follow the flow of the waves to the shore and are as ever-changing as the movement of the water. It is this movement of water that creates the energy inside the body of each amulet where fluid is pressurized to run a turbine generator. The energy is then transmitted along to the outermost band and to the shore where it is fed into the energy grid where it has the potential to power the approximately 15,000 households of this East coast city.

Glacier Bay Projection: 156KW

The renewable energy media sculpture is a video LED wall, with live streaming footage of Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska visible 24 hours a day on Sheikh Zayed Road on the route from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. The imagery will be ever changing as the wild landscape shifts minute by minute. The South-facing support structure contains a vast array of PV panels at a 30 degre angle. The camera in Alaska will be powered by a Wind Turbine. This piece could potentially power itself as well as the petrol stations and street lights along the highway.


Thanks to Pruned for doing a post on LAGI.
What is really great is that the post ends with a suggestion for a work of energy-creating land art that would channel wind into man made canyons which have wind dams at the end. The environmental impact of the man made canyons would have to be considered, but following the wind dam link led to this beautiful design:
More details can be found at the original Pruned post which has a lot of other fun tangential links. The design is by Chetwoods Architects.

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Gizmag features an article on the Almeisan Tower here.

My original post on the project.

Update on Tuesday, July 14: Many other blogs have picked up on the project such as inhabitat, greendiary, and ecofriend. Thanks to all.

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If this technology ever makes it into commercial production then it will open up a huge potential for creative uses.

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We would love to be able to create an entire orchard from the amazing solar ivy PV cells by SMIT. They combine solar generation with piezoelectric generators that create additional energy from the movement of the leaves in the wind:

Discovered via inhabitat

I have long thought about how beautiful an orchard of 100 (10×10) trees with PV leaves would be. The most beautiful place I can imagine to sit and contemplate is on the grass in the middle of an orchard. The sun makes such a beautiful tapestry of shadow on the ground and the multi-point perspective that the grid of trees constructs is ever-changing as you walk within. My personal favorite is an olive tree orchard with its tiny silvery leaves. Just imagine sitting in the midst of all that beauty while knowing that it is generating electricity. I figure an orchard that size would be enough to run more than a dozen homes. The above sketch is from an olive orchard on the Northern outskirts of Florence.

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Concentrated photovoltaic (CPV or HPVC) technology concentrates sunlight through a lens onto a high performance solar cell, thus increasing the electricity generated over conventional PV panels. Typical photovoltaic panels only convert about 10 to 15 percent of incoming light into energy. CPV cells utilize multijunction photovoltaics which can reach efficiencies of 40 percent. Typically the CPV solar cell lies directly beneath the fresnel lens or parabolic mirror concentrator.

In the Ibn Al-Haytham Pavilion, this type of system is modified to create beams of vertical light with the power of 800 suns by concentrating sunlight through fresnel lenses at the roof. These beams are then re-concentrated at the raised floor level by a second fresnel lens field and onto the CPV cells which are arrayed in a naturally cooled plenum space at ground level.

The beams are set against an interior of mirrored walls to increase the effect of the visual field. The relative darkness of the room that houses the beam field insures that the beams are clearly visible inside it. The beams themselves change position as the heliostatic dual-axis hinges follow the exact location of the sun. This ever-changing composition is visible in two locations: the horizontal viewing aperture at the North elevation, and from within the camera obscura room on the South side of the pavilion.

View as seen from the North viewing aperture. The aperture itself is completely open with the concrete shell creating a cantilevered structure with steel reinforcing. Since each beam has the real ability to set fire to anything combustible in its path, the inside of the aperture has protective glass.

The first camera obscura was built by Arab scientist Abu Ali Al-Hasan Ibn Al-Haytham, born in Basra (965-1039 CE), who carried out practical experiments on optics in his “Book of Optics”. In his experiments, Ibn Al-Haytham used the term Al-Bayt al-Muthlim, translated in English as dark room. In the experiment he undertook in order to establish that light travels in time and with speed, he wrote: “If the hole was covered with a curtain and the curtain was taken off, the light traveling from the hole to the opposite wall will consume time.” He reiterated the same experience when he established that light travels in straight lines. A revealing experiment introduced the camera obscura in studies of the half-moon shape of the sun’s image during eclipses which he observed on the wall opposite a small hole made in the window shutters. In his famous essay “On the Form of the Eclipse” (“Maqalah-fi-Surat-al-Kosuf”) he commented on his observation: “The image of the sun at the time of the eclipse, unless it is total, demonstrates that when its light passes through a narrow, round hole and is cast on a plane opposite to the hole it takes on the form of a moon-sickle.”

Estimated (and perhaps optimistic) statistics:
> Area of lens field: 576 square meters
> Assumed operating efficiency of system: 15%-30% (40% cell efficiency – loss from lenses, angle obstructions, and heliostatic tracking)
> Resulting peak energy capacity: 86 KW – 172 KW
> Typical output per day: 1200 KWH
> Typical output per year: 400 MWH
> Cost per MWH: AED 300
> Cost savings generated per year: AED 120,000
> Construction cost: AED 4,000,000
> Payback: approx. 30yrs (cultural payback hopefully sooner than that)

Entrance to the camera obscura room from the South Elevation

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