1. Which climate facts do we have to cope with in a desert environment?
2. Can we find enough water and where can we find it?
3. How can we generate enough frigidity [freezing capacity] in order to create ice and sustain an adequate volume of it?
4. How much energy do we need for this purpose and how can we create this amount in a sustainable fashion?
5. What characteristics does the sculpture need to make it all work?
Ad 1 The climate condition (temperature, humidity, wind, etc.) of deserts can vary considerably. Therefore, is the choice of location a point of importance.
Ad 2 The most favourable source of water is the available water vapour in the air. The amount of exploitable water differs strongly with temperature and humidity.
Ad 3 There are many ways of creating frigidity [removing the heat]. The challenge is, to find the best suitable way for our sculpture. Our frigidity [refrigeration] experts, Frank and Erik, investigated a long list of possibilities. Compression refrigeration, eventually in combination with absorption cooling, seems the best attainable option so far.
Ad 4 In the end, the exact amount of needed energy will strongly depend on the shape and characteristics (e.g. heat transfer) of the sculpture. To increase our understanding on this issue, our plan is, to carry out some simulations on different shapes and materials. We hope to present the first results next month. Energy source we point at are solar energy, eventually in combination with wind energy.
Ad 5 The surface for the generation of solar energy, together with the required heat transfer and the exposure of the ice to (direct) sunlight and wind will mainly determine the shape and characteristics of the sculpture. The challenge will be, still to express a strong and positive cultural message while complying to the required characteristics.
We’ll keep you posted