Although wind power is a well-known source of green energy, it is not that popular among general public. However, now some artists and engineers, with intent to promote wind energy, have designed and built a number of creative sculptures that generate useful energy. Here is a description of five such creative sculptures designed to run on wind power.
Singing ringing tree
In 2006, architects Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu created a âSinging Ringing Treeâ sculpture in Pennines Mountain Range, in Lancashire. The structure is a wind powered sound generator that is made by joining galvanized steel pipes. Some of the pipes are angled for aesthetic reasons while others are tuned for producing harmonic sounds by adding holes on the undersides. The three-meter structure harnesses the wind energy to produce discordant and choral sounds comprising several octaves. It is one of four sculptures of the Panopticons arts and regeneration project created by the East Lancashire Environmental Arts Network. The project was set up to erect a series of 21st-century landmarks, or Panopticons, that is, structures providing a comprehensive view across East Lancashire as symbols of the renaissance of the area.
Theo Jansen’s kinetic sculptures
You will be rubbing your eyes in disbelief when you see Dutch kinetic sculptor Theo Jansenâs creation, giant âStrandbeestâ automaton walking on the beach. Constructed with wood, pipe, and sail, these wind-powered machines are intricately linked throughout the whole structure and come across as dexterous artificial beings. The wind energy, harnessed with the help of sails, organically percolates down through the body with the help of levers, onto the âlegsâ of these wind walkers.
Jansen has made the Standbeest using genetic algorithm that mimics the process of natural evolution. That is what makes these automatons keep getting better since 1990 when Jansen first started making them. They have adapted to the sandy beach and survived storm and winds. The latest ones made by Jansen can detect water and move away from it and also can sense approaching storm and anchor itself.
The machine can also store wind energy in form of air pressure in recycled bottles, which allow it to move a bit further in the absence of wind. As these wonderful machines sashay down the beach, Jansen puts in, “The wall between Art and Engineering only exist in our mind”.
Future flower sculpture
Besides the Mersey River in England stands a fourteen-meter tall wind powered sculpture named âFuture flowerâ. Made by London based architect, Tonkin Liu, the sculpture is made up of 120 perforated galvanized steel petals in form of an icosidodecahedron. Designers have also installed a wind turbine inside it, which generates enough power to illuminate the structure using LED lights. The making of the sculpture was funded by North West Development Agency as part of a wider Waterfront Regeneration Program to clean up the vacant and polluted riverfront land of Southern Widnes, Cheshire. As it stands by the polluted riverside, the metal flower coupled with wind-powered energy symbolizes a future of harmony between industrial growth and green technology.
With an aim to bring green technology closer to people, Solar one, a New York based center devoted to green energy, arts and education organized a group of artists to contemplate relationship between people and wind energy and make their very own personal wind turbine. Because of this, Elliott Montgomeryâs led Aeolian electric project came up in the shape of fantastic personalized windmills. Elliotâs Wind Tree turbine was linked to a record player which resulted in speeding up and slowing down of the player, as the wind gained or waned in strength making audience understand the amount of energy needed for playing a simple gadget.
Joshua spaceâs Mirror Sail was actually a spinning set of mirrors, the perspective being determined by the winds. Garth Zeglin designed a wonderful portable wind turbine Traveler resembling a cross between beach umbrella and a small tent, which could be just opened up and propped anywhere.
Power flower by David Edwards
A giant fourteen-foot tall aluminum sunflower structure outside David Edwardsâs studio in Shaler, Pittsburgh can generate enough power to charge a laptop. The solar panels in the leaves and the petals shaped fins power the batteries, which are used to illuminate the structure at night. Edwardâs creation is not efficient in terms of power generation, but admirers say that it has people thinking about green technology and that is what matters right now. Edward also concurs that primarily it is an artwork because he wanted it to be in shape of a flower and work in the same way.