A new approach to powering art
Wind turbines illuminate steel
Covestro is committed to sustainability and innovation, which is why we proudly supported the Energy Flow art installation on the Rachel Carson Bridge in Pittsburgh, Pa. Sixteen specially designed wind turbines are mounted on steel platforms that are secured to the bridge’s catenary arches. These turbines run four nanogrids that, together, create a microgrid.
As the wind whips down the Allegheny River, the wind energy is captured by the turbines, converted to electricity and stored in batteries. At night, these batteries power the 27,000 multi-colored LED lights that are positioned along the vertical cables of the bridge. The turbines will continue charging the batteries when the wind is above 8 mph, and the batteries’ storage capacity allows the lights to function for up to 12 hours if there is no wind. A weather station located on the bridge allows the lights to give a real-time visualization of the wind’s speed and direction.
Environmental artist Andrea Polli designed the installation and Rod Gdovic, CEO of WindStax Energy, developed the nanogrids and wind turbines that power the lights. The bridge is named after Rachel Carson, an environmental activist and Pittsburgh-area native, making it a perfect fit for such an environmentally friendly installation. The bridge’s lights debuted during the 2016 holiday season.
This unique lighting display and its use of renewable energy so perfectly captures our vision at Covestro – to create a cleaner, brighter future through innovative technologies.