Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Energy Dump

Not a lot festering here in terms of energy links, but a couple of interesting ideas related to our electricity infrastructure - coming from two different worlds. The first takes a look at our existing power structure - namely the ubiquitous grid. From InfraNet Lab, this post announces the 'Power of Ecosystems/Ecosystems of Power' - mostly in reference to a comment regarding the naming of our current 'dumb' grid "...on Alexis Madrigal’s site about how the US Department of Energy has now designated the century-old electrical power grid an “ecosystem."

:: image via Infranet Lab

Ok. I'll bite... an ecosystem????. To explain: "Our century-old power grid is the largest interconnected machine on Earth, so massively complex and inextricably linked to human involvement and endeavor that it has alternately (and appropriately) been called an ecosystem." Read more about an exhibit on powerline demarcation - or urban transects - in the post as well including links to the Powerlines Project by Adam Ryder and Brian Rosa. Good stuff.

:: image via Infranet Lab

Moving from the common dumb to the buzzing smart grid, a proposal by OMA has gotten a bunch of digital ink - via Synchronicity: "Office for Metropolitan Architecture recently has presented a masterplan for the North Sea, claiming that wind farms in the North Sea can produce as much energy as the oil from the Persian Gulf is now."

:: image via Synchronicity

Aside from energy independence, the proposal is great for its sheer graphic fun - including some great representation you would expect from OMA. Jump to the post, for more...

:: images via Synchronicity

...and to Inhabitat for some more info, as well as a few of the interesting adverts from the firm’s Zeekracht masterplan - showing that good design and planning still needs good marketing.

:: image via Inhabitat

And if that weren't enough, Treehugger offers news of a 960 million watt offshore windfarm in Germany... enough juice to power a lot of green homes... smart indeed. It will, of course, be interesting to see what we're saying about all these 'new/smart' technologies fifty years from now when they are neither new and smart... and the next big thing has rolled in, allowing us to analyse a forgotten infrastructure of crumbling turbines that have become artificial reefs and marine habitat. Looking forward to it.

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