energy duck concept could generate renewable power for copenhagen
all images courtesy of the land art generator initiative
a team of british artists and designers (hareth pochee, adam khan, louis leger, patrick fryer) have conceived a visually fun and entertaining sculpture, that double functions as a solar collector and buoyant energy store, in the form of an enormous eider (a northern sea duck). submitted as an entry of the 2014 land art generator initiative design competition, ‘energy duck’ is sited for the copenhagen harbour, where it would convert solar radiation, via its plumage of standard PV panels, into electricity.
the ‘energy duck’ by night in the copenhagen harbour
standing at 12-storeys high, its vertical measurement is an indicator of the danish capital’s city-wide energy consumption, relative to renewable generation. the collected energy is stored within the waterbird’s belly, making use of the design’s floating nature, which is reserved by virtue of different H2O elevations inside and outside the body. when power needs to be distributed, the base of the duck is flooded to bring about the necessary electricity to be transmitted to a national grid, by the same route as the PV panel produced electricity.
the interior of the generator is a honeycomb mesh of lightweight steel that is backlit by sunlight
the ‘energy duck’ is a response to copenhagen’s aim of becoming a carbon neutral city by 2025, realized as an iconic landmark that speaks to local wildlife. it is constructed from a lightweight steel space frame which defines its shape and supports the solar components that form most of its skin, applied more specifically in areas that receive a good amount of solar radiation — primarily the duck’s upper half. on its interior, visitors are invited to navigate their way through a honeycomb mesh of lightweight steel; with upward views revealing a striking latticework of PV panels in silhouette, backlit by daylight streaming in through air gaps. by night, ‘energy duck’ is illuminated by low power LED lamps that change in color; their choreographed patterning undulating with a rhythm proportional to the output of the hydro turbines positioned within.
based on its modelling, in its entirety, the energy yield of the generator would be 75% of a fully optimized solar farm on the same site. additionally, ‘energy duck’ has been conceived to be completely scalable depending on the situation: a 40m high duck serves a town; a 20m high duck serves a village, and a 4m high duck serves an individual house.
site plan of where the ‘energy duck’ would sit within the copenhagen harbour
re-imagining our perception of what a power generator can be and do, the ‘energy duck’ brings to mind BIG architect’s amagerforbraending ski slope incinerator located nearby, that follows a similar approach, in which an industrial factory has been envisioned as a power plant, that also stands as a destination for recreational activity and art installation.
technical drawing of the external PV panel skin
sections of the ‘energy duck’