MA Architecture: Fourth Year, 2012.
School: Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts: School of Architecture, Copenhagen. Department 2.
Tutor: Phil Ayres.
Winner of the ‘Solar Dreams’ competition, 2012. ‘Most extraordinary and innovative design.’
How do you seamlessly knit a power station into a city? Power is usually fed into cities from stations that exist far from the city environment. Power stations or similar that are in the city are usually icons such as the now defunct Battersea power station or Barcelona’s Forum 2004 Esplanade.
However, the relationship between power production and people is still distant. The scheme aims to challenge the relationship between power and person by integrating a new power station into the city of Granada. Gas towers are an inspiration. They are often called out of place and uncontextual, however these structures are arguably the most contextual structure in any neighbourhood as it is a direct indicator of how much gas is being used.
The proposed power plant[s] clad the streetscape with an additional dynamic layer that shades and produces energy. The canopy is made up of many components. These components are specific to the existing conditions of its surroundings. They have two states – open and closed. They are deployable structures, that when heated they bloom, creating a large surface area to create photovoltaic energy from the suns rays.
The experiment above shows a parabolic dish being attached to the wax actuator. By adding this, the umbrella opens faster.
A relationship between the umbrella and power production is now being established. If the umbrella is open you are creating the optimum amount of energy. If the umbrella is closed you know you are producing very little.
Introducing the system into the City.
The system is modular. This allows for the devices to easily spread and infest the city.
The following drawings speculate how a resident may install the solar plants. Their primary concern is not necessarily one of energy production, but one of lifestyle.
If the state were to introduce the power plants into the city the architectural expression achieved would be completely different. The resident allow the power plants to respond to their lifestyles, however the state want to create as much energy as possible all the time – but without having a massive impact on the existing residents natural light.
By allowing the canopy to adjust itself to the sun, the maximum amount of area is always achieved while still allowing the residents to have light entering their windows.
Power plants [v2].
Now how do we actually allow the umbrellas to open and close at specific times…
The umbrella self shades the actuator as it reaches a certain level of deployment. This can be remedied by adjusting the textile of the umbrella.
The above drawing shows where the textile needs to be cut to allow light to heat the wax actuator. You can dictate when the umbrella opens and closes by cutting specific areas to allow itself to either heat the wax actuator or self shade the actuator.
The canopy will end up similar to this. Different power plants are required to open more than others. The cut textile allow this to happen.
By introducing this system I roughly worked out how many of the solar umbrellas you would need to create enough energy for an individual, based on current conditions. Of course take these figures with a pinch of salt…!
In Toronto, Canada where they are ranked #1 daily kWh per capita, you would need 15 umbrellas per person during the summer. This takes into consideration the amount of day light hours you have and amount of energy consumed by a person. In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, you would need 0.04 umbrellas for a single individual due to the amount of energy a person uses and amount of sunlight you have.
In the north pole, where you have 24hours sunlight for half a year, you can produce 100% energy for half a year, then go to the south pole!