· October 2016

October 2016

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Regatta H2O, First Place winner of the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Santa Monica

Artist Team: Christopher Sjoberg and Ryo Saito
Artist Location: Tokyo, Japan
Energy Technologies: Aerostatic Flutter Wind Harvesting (WindBelt™)
Water Harvesting Technologies: fog harvesting
Annual Capacity: 70 MWh (used on site) and 112 million liters of drinking water

What makes a human-made form beautiful? What makes a natural landscape beautiful?

Beauty is of course in the eye of the beholder, but both powerful forms and landscapes elicit strong emotional attachments, and the experience of them can inspire people into action. While each may be evaluated on their own merits and qualities, rarely do they come together without controversy.

Yet there are some man-made forms so universally associated with their landscapes, and so steadfastly imprinted in the collective imagination—the red dairy barns of pastoral America, the terraced rice paddies of Southern China, the whitewashed villas of hilltop Greece—that they become an inseparable element of the natural landscape’s identity. The sea is no different, and since civilizations first began navigating the oceans by harnessing the wind, the billowing forms of sail and mast have occupied an omnipresent place in the mental image of the seaside.

Regatta H2O repurposes this familiar maritime form as infrastructure, which harvests fog to create fresh water and harnesses the wind in order to power its operations.

The sails of Regatta H2O are fog-harvesting meshes. Collection troughs are designed as veins within the sail surface, transporting harvested moisture to the mast where it can be piped to storage vessels at the Santa Monica Pier. When the moisture content of the air falls below a certain threshold, the sails are retracted to reveal the horizon line of the Pacific Ocean.

While water is harvested passively, some electrical power is need to operate the pumping and steering mechanisms, and deployment of the sails. This energy is extracted from the wind via a device known as a WindBelt™, which relies on an oscillating belt suspended between two electro-magnets. Each of the Regatta H2O masts contains eight such generating units along its length.

At night, light rings beneath each wind band pulsate with the intensity of power being generated. This also serves as a navigational safety device, alerting boats of their presence in the dark.

Through an artistic and technological re-imagining of millenniums-old science, Regatta H2O shows that the union of the natural environment with the climatic benefits of sustainable energy and water infrastructure can have powerful and positive impacts on how we perceive cherished landscapes.

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Cetacea, Second Place winner of the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Santa Monica

Artist Team: Keegan Oneal, Sean Link, Caitlin Vanhauer, Colin Poranski (University of Oregon)
Artist Location: Eugene (OR), USA
Energy Technologies: wave energy converter with linear alternator, Windbelt™, photovoltaic panels
Water Harvesting Technologies: high efficiency reverse osmosis (HERO™ by Aquatech) for stormwater runoff treatment
Annual Capacity: 4,300 MWh (80% used to offset the energy demand of existing SMURRF facility and power HERO™ system)
650 million liters of drinking water

Cetacea is an elegant integration of energy and art, glistening white in the Santa Monica sun, rising gracefully from the surface of the water.

Cetacea generates power by harvesting the renewable resources of Santa Monica Bay—wind, wave, and sun. Driven by the principle of “clean power for clean water,” Cetacea reconciles water scarcity with pressing social and ecological concerns by supporting the existing water filtration facilities near the pier while providing carbon-neutral power to city residents. By connecting to the Santa Monica Urban Runoff Recycling Facility (SMURRF) and providing enough electricity to run a High Efficiency Reverse Osmosis (HERO) system, Cetacea contributes to Santa Monica’s 2020 sustainability goals of water and energy independence.

The blue whale is a pelagic powerhouse. Consuming upwards of four tons of krill per day, the world’s largest creatures are fueled by gargantuan quantities of its smallest. Cetacea reimagines the blue whale’s strategy of capturing micro-sources of energy on an even larger scale.

In place of the sprawling and unappealing profile of common renewable energy farms, a vertical configuration of wave-, wind-, and solar-powered generators within graceful, multifaceted arches maximizes energy production within a minimal footprint. Modular arch components mean that Cetacea can easily be expanded in the future through the construction of additional forms, meeting the needs of a changing city while continuing to generate energy beautifully and unobtrusively. Repetition and subtle variation of the arches create ethereal forms in constant interaction with the play of sea, light, and cloud across the horizon.

Wave buoys 300 mm in diameter are situated within the framework of the arches, floating at sea level to capture wave energy around the clock. The vertical movement of each passing wave induces the flow of electricity by moving a magnet through an electromagnetic coil.

Windbelts™ are stacked within the sides of each arch at one-meter intervals. Following Bernoulli’s principle, the form of the arches increases wind speed as it passes through the belts. The resulting aerostatic flutter of the belts creates energy by oscillating magnets through an electromagnetic field. Photovoltaic panels positioned at the top of each arch provide maximum solar output.

Cetacea consists of five sculptures of three different sizes. Each parabolic arch ranges in height from 13 meters to 30 meters tall. A pile system uses recycled concrete and allows room for habitat reconstruction around the minimal physical footprint of the structures.

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Paper Boats, Third Place winner of the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Santa Monica

Artist Team: Christopher Makrinos, Stephen Makrinos, Alexander Bishop
Artist Location: Pittsburgh, USA
Energy Technologies: concentrated photovoltaic (CPV), reflectors, Holographic Planar Concentrator™ (HPC) technology developed by Prism Solar Technologies
Annual Capacity: 2,400 MWh

A shimmering, iridescent mirage of swirling whites, pinks, and greens floats playfully in a sinuous line resembling a school of fish. Paper Boats recalls the 1930s desire to transform the Santa Monica Pier into a thriving boating and yachting destination. The breakwater constructed at that time created a protected harbor, but has eroded over the years. Today it is almost completely submerged under the ocean surface.

While recalling this history, Paper Boats revitalizes the ecology of the area. Throughout the years, over-hunting and over-fishing of some key species have allowed purple urchin to graze on the kelp without competition. This has led to “urchin barrens,” which offer little in the way of genetic diversity, food, or nesting habitats. Paper Boats has reversed this trend by establishing pockets of coral and kelp (once commonplace here) within underwater “shipwreck” frames that anchor each boat to the historic breakwater. The rebar “shipwrecks” mirror the sculptures above and encourage coral growth with a phenomenon called accretion. First observed by Wolf Hilbertz, accretion is a process where a trickle of direct current electricity (provided by the solar collector above) is run through the rebar to accelerate coral growth up to five times faster than normal.

Paper Boats uses a combination of special Fresnel lenses, reflectors, and holographic photovoltaic cells. Each boat’s four sails work as concentrated photovoltaic collectors. The outer shell of the “sail” utilizes Fresnel lenses to channel incoming light.

Beneath the sails are a series of holographic photovoltaic cells that pair laser-etched glazing with bi-facial silicone panels to trap sunlight from both directions with incredible efficiency. The intricately cut patterns also refract light, giving them the shiny, iridescent quality that glows beautifully—especially at sunset.

The solar panels are attached to a ceramic-cladded aluminum framework. The structure conceals the CPV conduits and acts as a passive heat sink. A trickle of energy is diverted to the “shipwrecks” before entering the main conduit. This small charge provides a catalyst for coral growth, strengthening the local marine ecosystem.

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