New Smart Grid Will Brighten Athletic Fields
CREDIT: Cool Hunting
Athletes who play on community fields are familiar with the rush to finish a game before the sun sets and the park closes. Playing fields with lights can be hard to come by, but a new lighting grid, powered by wind and solar energy may soon change that.
The 'Smart Athletic Grid' was developed by Andrew Burdick for the Phillips Livable Cities Award, as a way to address the shortage of space for extracurricular groups in New York City. He realized the issue wasn't that there wasn't enough space, but that there was a limited amount of time during which the space could be used.
The Smart Athletic Grid Light can be adjusted to gather energy from the sun or the wind, depending on its location. According to a report from Cool Hunting, "if placed in an area where wind is more prominent, the wind turbine on the lights can be raised or lowered for ideal energy production. In the same manner, solar panels can easily be rotated to achieve the highest exposure to sunlight in sunny areas."
While solar powered streetlights have worked in various areas around New York City, lighting a playing field requires much more light than lighting a sidewalk. Burdick's athletic grid solves that problem as well as the cost. Because the Smart Athletic Grid Light can use both the sun and wind for energy, they should have enough power to provide the extra light needed for a field. In addition, the lights will also be able to offset their own maintenance, upkeep and installation costs.
The winner for the contest will be announced April 27th, and if Burdick's prototype wins he will receive a $177,000 grant to help translate his idea into reality.
Can Energy Innovation Learn From the Manhattan and Apollo Projects?
15 Ways to Save Energy and Money
Military Scientists Look to Space to Power Bases