Abu Dhabi Planning Solar Energy-Generating Pyramids
Source: Construction Week Online, Elizabeth Broomhall (2/10/11)
"Project aims to harness energy, attract tourism with award-winning structures that double as sundials, lunar calendars."
The Lunar Cubit project, which won the UAE's Land Art Generator Initiative (Lagi) competition over 200 other contenders from around the world last month, will include as many as nine energy-generating structures to support nearby Masdar City in its efforts to save energy.
Equally, the pyramids will serve as iconic structures, adding value to the city for their ability to enhance the skyline and attract tourism.
In an interview with The National, Adrian De Luca, one of the artists and renewable energy experts involved in the project said: "If the UAE has a goal to become a forward-thinking and acting energy producer, supplier and consumer, and also a cultural epicenter, then this is a great project on both of those fronts.
Unlike a lot of other eco-friendly projects, the Lunar Cubit development will also pay back the cost of its construction in a short period of just five years.
In order to efficiently generate energy, the plan is to have one, central 50m-tall pyramid surrounded by eight other 22m-high pyramids, with underground cables transferring the energy from the outer pyramids to the central pyramid before transmitting it to the grid.
Constructed out of glass and amorphous silicon, the pyramids will also act as sundials and lunar calendars, casting the sun's shadow to signal each hour during the day, and with LED lights lighting up in accordance with the phases of the moon at night.