The Solar CityTower is a 105 meter tall innovation of traditional concepts onlandmarks. The Swiss group’s goals are to move away from iconicreferences, instead focusing on real challenges and design for thepost-oil era.
How The Solar City Tower Works:
Capitalizing on Rio’s generous (if not excessive) supply of sunshineduring the day, solar-powered engines will pump seawater into the towerwhere it will be stored. At nightfall, the water will be releasedthrough turbines, generating hydro-electricity.
The electricity would go towards the city’s demands–and of coursethe Olympic village. How it will be implemented into current municipalgrids has not been explained yet.
As for aesthetics–a key selling point for any Olympic feature–thetower also has the ability to turn into an urban water fall, an homageto Rio’s natural landscapes.
Good? Bad? Bling?
When it comes to the Olympics, practicality is not always at theforefront. The events are designed around showcasing athletic prowessand the host city’s tourist, economic, and environmental appeal.
The Solar City Tower is a feature, a place for visitors to experience something unique–most likely while eating a salad. It’s commendable(read: required) that the building will be sustainable, but what aboutnumbers?
How much electricity could actually be generated by this structure?What about when the Olympics are over; how will the energy be fed intoRio’s grid?
And the big question, especially considering the landscape and delicate ecosystems surrounding the "Marvelous City" [pdf]:what impact would construction of such a spectacle have on theenvironment?
Answers still to be had.
Learn more about Solar on eBoom’s Solar EnergyLearning Page.