The Whirler is an exhilarating energy system that collects wind and transforms it for perceptive energy production. The Whirler is a three dimensional grid of Darrieus Turbines, having the ability to stimulate and challenge the visitors of the park. A wind energy system based on a vertical axis conceived to respond to the variability of Fresh Kills’ wind direction and intensity.
Whirlers is part of the show “Fresh Kills Park” curated by the Land Art Generator Initiative, opening in New York on October 25th at the Soho Digital Art Gallery in New York.
Soho Digital Art Gallery
138 Sullivan Street
New York, NY 10012
This energy system creates a new spatial experience conceived as a whirling artificial forest, changing the visual and thermal perception of the land by mixing natural and artificial elements. 10000 colorful spinning top following the ground and wind direction. An inebriating visual experience reminding aforest of spinning top. The design of each unit ranges in height, scale andcolor which allows for a more seamless ability to merge with and diverge from the landscape.
The Whirler’s typological variations respond to Fresh Kills’ site. By translating some of the predominant data in a set of elementary units (such as wind speed, topography lines, presence of trees and specific area for visitors) the Whirler geometry was explored as a list of variables attributes (height, length colour, size). Site information and the Whirlers final configuration are connected by a set of rules (density regulation in response to power production, rhythm, relative positions of the element, geometry, proportion, alignments, relative size). The adaptive grid follows the site configuration affecting the perception of space (color, light, sound, visual dynamics). In this way, the turbines height vary according with the wind condition as well as with the public accessibility to the site offering a safe and inhabitable social space.
The Whirlers communicate with people. The Whirler’s grid can be read as a landscape map. Their colors differentiation reveals the park zoning. The vivid red and yellow become green and blue when the area can be inhabited by visitors. When recreational activity can be developed: relax and picnic spaces all characterized by the breeze produced by the Whirlers.
Visitors walk in a playfully spinning environment. The Whirlers are an exhilarating educational experience: observing the difference between the Whirlers’ rotation speed allows visitors to understand the wind seasonal flows.
Technical description ///
We are proposing a power plant to contribute to the electricity grid of the city. The Whirlers is composed by an aggregate of 10,000 wind vertical axis Darrieus turbines devices converting the wind kinetic energy into mechanical energy.
The Whirlers is a system that captures energy from nature, converts it into electricity, and have the ability to store, and to transform and transmit electrical power to a power grid connection point to be supplied by others.
Whirlers respond to Freshkills site. The wind analysis revealed variable wind flow (in term of direction and intensity). The turbine unit device that constitutes the Whirler is designed based on the logic of vertical-axis wind turbines having the main rotor shaft arranged vertically. The design compensates for any reduction of the power coefficient by increasing the number of units. The orientation of the device does not need to be pointed into the wind to be effective. This design allows the gear box and the generator to be placed very close to the ground. An adaptive grid permits units of different scales and heights in order to maximize the wind exploration. The proposal is conceived to be scalable and adaptable to different site and areas. The grid follows theground and adapts to the landscape. The choice of a dense configuration permit to augment the system efficiency since turbines will eventually be picking up wake of energy from the rotation of adjacent turbines.
Additional credits and links:
Authors: Caterina Tiazzoldi, Eduardo Benamor Duarte
Collaborators: M.Bariolo, C. Francisca, L. Serrano