|First place at the 2016 went to the Regatta H2O|
The purpose of the exhibits were not only to celebrate innovative aesthetic designs, but also to explore possible futures for infrastructure that can harvest clean energy while integrating into existing societies in ways that please the eye. As recent history has proven, local communities that don't want their landscapes altered have proven a necessary constituent for clean energy advocates to win over.
Having this year's initiative in Los Angeles- a city wracked by years of drought- made it a perfect opportunity to search for ideas built around water infrastructure. The designs were shown throughout the previous months at the iconic Santa Monica Pier. Highlights included a "Giant Orb" design by a Korean group of artists/architects that not only provided its own energy to stay buoyant, but also uses solar powered panels to generate drinkable water as well, producing an annual amount of 600,000 gallons.
Second place was a US-based effort, created by University of Oregon. The ingenious design, inspired by whales in shape and utilizing high end reverse osmosis, (a process that is perfect for a marine location) can generate over 4300 megawatts of electricity and 172 million gallons of drinking water. Engineers in Pittsburgh took third place with "Paper Boat" . A network of iconic paper coat shapes that mask an underwater apparatus, where coral and kelp, encouraged by electrical currents from on-board solar cells, will grow and provide more habitats for diverse marine life.First place was taken by Tokyo-based Chrostopher Sjoberg and Ryo Salto, and is called the Regatta H2O. The concept involves aesthetically beautiful sails that collect and store wind energy, while also producing fresh water through fog harvesting. The project is estimated to create over 30 million gallons of water per year for local Angelinos.
|The "Paper Boat" entry featured giant paper boats|
that cultivated underwater habitats for local marine life
Donal Thoms-Cappello is a freelance writer for Rotor Clip Company.