Antonio Maccà 's Sun Ray for renewable energy and cultural attraction

Exploring the combination of functionality and beauty is an architectural practice by Italy’s Antonio Maccà, who designed ‘Sun Ray,’ a massive solar collector that can generate enough energy (approximately 1,100 MWh) annually to power 220 Melbourne homes.

The conceptual design was conceived as a symbol for the future of sustainable energy that also doubles as public artwork envisioned for the City of Port Phillip in Melbourne. Sun Ray has been shortlisted for this year’s Land Art Generator Initiative Melbourne design competition.

The beautiful view of the envisioned Sun Ray that could provide shade as well as clean energy. Credit/Inhabitat

Sun Ray is made up of a series of flat mirrors, each with a single-axis tracking system, laid out in a circular shape with a diameter of 279 feet and elevated atop slender steel columns. Antonio Maccà tapped into linear Fresnel reflector technology to capture the sun’s energy. Here, he uses mirrors to focus sunlight onto a solar receiver. A power block tucked underground transforms the solar energy into electricity thereafter before feeding it into the city power grid.

“Sun Ray is a new symbol of renewable energy, lighting the way to the State of Victoria’s zero-greenhouse gas emissions target. It is a linear Fresnel reflector solar power plant that provides heat and electricity for hundreds of homes in St Kilda,” explained Antonio Maccà in his project statement.

Melbourne’s Sun Ray could light up 220 homes. Credit/Inhabitat

“It is also a cultural attraction for Melbourne; an investigation of light as a physical and symbolic source of illumination for life. It is a place for reflection, relaxation, learning and play in the shade provided by the Sun Ray mirror canopy,” he added.

The 50 primary mirror lines cast shade over the public park space, while the mirrors create a constantly changing play of light and shadow as they turn to track the sun. The winning design of the 2018 Land Art Generator Initiative Melbourne will be announced on October 11.

The Sun Ray – this is where art, beauty, sustainable development, and culture meet to light up life.#Rewordit

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