Submission to the 2014 Land Art Generator Initiative Copenhagen design competition

Artist Team: Andrew Jepson-Sullivan, Grayson Morris
Artist Location: Eugene (OR), USA
Energy Technologies: aeroelastic flutter (Windbelt™)

The word “sail” is defined as an object extended on a mast in such a way as to transmit the force of the wind into power. Used as a verb, “sail” suggests a voyage, as in moving toward a renewable energy future.

SAIL projects prominently from the west corner of the former shipyard into the prevailing wind, providing an elegant symbol of clean energy for the city of Copenhagen. The form recalls the shipbuilding past of the harbor, transforming from the rigid cup of a ship’s hull to the graceful, unfurled surface of an open sail. A curled base results in limited ground-level impact, while the open face at the crest maximizes surface area for wind collection through the use of Windbelt™ technology.

In this design, the site at Refshaleøen is left almost entirely undisturbed, allowing for large gatherings and events to occur, with SAIL acting as a visual backdrop. Visitors to the site are invited to “enter the wind” at the apex of the tower, becoming part of the energy infrastructure that powers the city.

As night falls, SAIL produces a bright, fluctuating spectacle. Each Windbelt™ membrane on SAIL is coated with a thin OLED layer (organic light-emitting diodes that emit light in response to an electric current) that glows when the membrane oscillates in response to the wind. OLEDs can be printed onto flexible and transparent substrates, making the membrane of the Windbelt™ an ideal surface. The OLEDs fluctuate in brightness depending on how much power is being generated by each individual membrane, resulting in a shimmering light display that reflects how much power is being produced by the entire structure in real-time.