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.