Energy Interchanges (Collaboration with Marc Haumann, RISD ID '10) is an exploration of ways to improve and ad value to neglected urban spaces by utilizing them as sites for useful renewable energy production.
There are highway interchanges everywhere that take up huge amounts of space and are neither useful or beautiful. We selected this site and considered how it could be made into an recreational and inspirational art installation as well as how it could contribute to the production of renewable energy.
Taking advantage of the vortex effect in vertical axis wind turbines can create exciting new opportunities to collect wind turbines in compact urban spaces.
When fish swim in formation they transfer energy to each other so the whole group is faster and more efficient.
The effect is similar to the way cogs turn each other.
When turbines are arranged in this way they can increase their production by 100%. This discovery makes it possible to collect wind power in areas typically considered too small for wind harvesting.
There are dozens of highway interchanges in Rhode Island, and thousands all over the country that could be used as future sites for the collection of power, where currently nothing useful is being done.
These images served as Marc and my visual inspiration as we began designing our installation.
The installation would be beautiful to drive by over the bridge. It is our hope that it would inspire people to change their attitudes about renewable energy from necessary evils in the landscape to potential sources of beauty.
Daytime view of the installation
Night time view of the installation. The turbines are coated with photoluminescent paint to illuminate the area.
The site could provide around 7358 megawatt hours per year.
The installation could be used to power the cars that drive through it every day.