Green Cities Fit for Life

Image by M Hjälm

Energy Duck could generate Solar and Hydro Power

The Energy Duck is one of the proposals submitted as part of this year’s Land Art Generation initiative (LAGI) 2014 competition. LAGI 2014 invites designers from around the world to submit their ideas for what infrastructure art for sustainable cities looks like. The call is to encourage art that is eco-friendly and thus useful to the public, for example providing clean energy for the City of Copenhagen.

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The Energy Duck is a renewable energy generator and storehouse designed by a London-based team. The structure would also be an interactive and educational tourist attraction celebrating local wildlife. The Energy Duck is inspired by the common eider duck often found in Copenhagen. Due to climate change the eiders’ breeding habits are now at risk. The design team decided to base their design on the eider duck in order to enhance awareness of the local impacts of climate change.

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The Ducks structure would be made using light weight steel and its skin would consist of photovoltaic panels.  As part of the design, solar energy is converted into electricity using low cost PV panels. Some of the solar electricity is stored in water levels inside and outside the duck. When stored energy needs to be used, the duck would be flooded through one or more hydro turbines to generate electricity, which is transmitted to the national grid by the same route as the PV panel-generated electricity. Solar energy would then be used to pump the water back out of the duck bringing it to the surface. The floating height of the duck would show the relative cost of electricity as a function of city-wide use: as demand peaks the duck would sink.

The structure, if developed, is proposed to be located in Copenhagen’s city harbour. The award ceremony and exhibition will be in Copenhagen in the autumn of 2014. Copenhagen was awarded the title of European Green Capital 2014 by the European Commission. In Copenhagen, communication actions to engage citizens are very effective, thereby making Copenhageners feel they are part of the solution.