Saturday, September 7th, project SunGlacier will be presented in Warsaw, Poland, as a contribution to the PRZE MIANY FESTIWAL. (more information on: http://www.przemianyfestiwal.pl/en/e/short-films-big-ideas/?subpage=lectures)
At 4:00 pm the film ‘IceBerg Riders’ – the start of the SunGlacier Project – will be shown, followed by a complete presentation of the SunGlacier Project.
On Dutch TV channel HollandDoc 24 the film ‘IceBerg Riders’ will be broadcasted from Saturday September 7th, 10:05 PM and on other days that same week.
Development sponsor of project SunGlacier is
It was an honor to meet Ghunaim S. Alghunaim and Thani S. Al Anizi from Saudi Arabia during meetings and presentations this week to demonstrate more about project SunGlacier. I realized that if you actually live in a country covered with deserts, it is even harder to believe in making a glacier in that landscape – to believe in the impossible – especially if you experience the world’s most extreme conditions around you on a daily basis. They know how it feels when the wind is blowing with temperatures of 50 degrees Celsius. (122F)
(L to R) Mr. Alghunaim, Ap Verheggen, Mr. Al Anizi, in attendance of Mr. Alharbi (Aramco Overseas)
photo by Jerzy Frigge
A couple of years ago I travaled through some deserts in the United Arab Emirates and noticed that there was a sort of similarity with my expeditions through the Arctic: A hostile environment for humans, so quiet that you hear your own heart beat above the song of the wind. It’s nearly impossible for me to imagine how cultures adapted and survived in these conditions in ancient times. Fascinating!
Water-related issues and training people how to manage water is the main subject of UNESCO-IHE. This week I also met with András Szöllösi-Nagy, rector of the institute and Governor of the World Water Council. A meeting between an artist and somebody with the position of András often results in a hurricane of energy and new ideas how to stretch borders on a creative way. It means a lot to me to get support from a good friend.
It was encouraging to take part in discussions this week on how solar energy technology can evolve to remain a relevant energy solution for the future. The International Trade Fair for Solar Energy in the Benelux held in Ghent, Belgium, provided a welcome opportunity for professionals active in solar technology to come together to make contacts to help propel their businesses. A number of smaller solar technology companies have disappeared in the recent years of financial crisis, but the larger ones that remain are looking to collectively fuel their search for the most effective ways to develop and deliver this energy to consumers.
This is needed because there remains a large gap in the present capabilities of solar technology and its ability to deliver widely-used practical applications that can meet larger portions of the world’s energy needs. And in order to keep moving solar power forward as a practical energy source, we need creative solutions to overcome barriers that keep this resource out of the hands of larger percentages of energy users.
Take for instance, a very basic approach that is not so much evolving solar technology itself, but adapting how we use energy that is now available. Changes in appliance technology (such as lighting, heating and cooling) to work on a non-constant energy supply can bring us a step closer. Reliance on traditional battery technology will become outdated as it is wasteful in comparison to other options, and energy is lost.
One of several bright spots at the trade fair discussions was how technology for “energy islands” is becoming more of a reality. Energy islands are completely self-supporting facilities that are not connected to existing energy networks. They are able to produce electricity on demand to meet needs of public and private installations such as hospitals, farms and family homes. Developments like this can give everyone more food for thought.
Your “bright” ideas? Readers are invited in the comment section to leave any related information, opinions, links or just plain wild ideas that could inspire others to think and work creatively on solar technology. After all, solar power is at the heart of SunGlacier, and a major aim of our project is to inspire thoughts, discussions and collaborations that can lead to tangible solutions in adapting to our changing environment.
We had an excellent meeting at the University of Technology Eindhoven. SunGlacier touches the borders of science, and even a renowned expert like prof. Elphi Nelissen MSc (Dean Prof. of Building Sustainability) was enthusiastic by our ideas how to make it work.
The SunGlacier videoclip is awarded as a finalist in the Focus Forward 3mts. video contest. Short Films – Big Ideas. A perfect medium to show SunGlacier to the world, and honoured for this recognition.
For the first time we are in discussion with a serious partner who is interested in the complete realisation of the SunGlacier Art Project. Therefore our highly motivated team is now working on the transfer of our technical testing data into a scientific report and defining the technical borders of our prototype ( scale 1:5 ) Next to that we designed a system that uses the not constant input of solar generated energy into a system that follows the sun as closely as possible. This may indeed prove to be a unique feature of engineering. ( see chapter prototype below )
Armed with the results of the ice-production tests the SunGlacier team is currently in the throws of designing a prototype of the sculpture scaled down to an approximate 1 to 5 ratio in size.
The purpose of that installation is:
– to demonstrate to prospective partners that the SunGlacier proposition of linking sun to ice is indeed feasible, both artistically and technically and also
– to create a firm basis for the engineering of the full scale model that would recognize and meet the prevailing challenges.
The most crucial of these challenges is:
– to move from the controlled environment of the test container to the essentially un-controlled conditions of open-air ice production. In other words, to try the test results in practice. Another challenge for the team is to string all elements of the sculpture, from solar cells to ice-carrying surfaces together into one autonomous and operationally robust installation. Once there, the next challenge is
– to maximize the use of the energy beamed in by the sun at any given time of the day and convert that along this string of elements in the most efficient manner to ”cold” at the workface.
In the course of any day in the life of SunGlacier the ideal clear-sky solar energy curve could be distorted by cloud cover or haze and the ideal curve itself will change in any event, with the seasons. SunGlacier has set itself the task of finding the tightest link between sun and ice and design a process control system that follows the sun as closely as possible. This may indeed prove to be a unique feature of engineering.
Once the prototype is operational, the artist will have the opportunity, together with prospective partners to evaluate the artistic aspect of SunGlacier and the effect it would have on its beholders.
Thus, the prototype is both a demonstration vehicle and a learning device for the SunGlacier team and to that end will be designed with flexibility and equipped with all measurement devices and instrumentation necessary to play those roles. Departing from a successful prototype platform the next step to full scale realization of SunGlacier should be well-controlled and technically low-risk.