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Fold-out energy tower for festivals is ready for practical use

Thematic news

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08.21.2019

As a sustainable alternative, TU/e researchers and ten companies have developed a 21-meter high fold-out tower with solar collectors and a wind turbine.

Almost all festivals in Europe use polluting diesel generators as their power supply. As a sustainable alternative, TU/e researchers and 9 companies have developed a 21-meter high fold-out tower with solar collectors and a wind turbine. Today, the ‘GEM-tower’ was fully erected on the TU/e campus for the first time, ahead of the first practical test that will take place next week during Pukkelpop.

The polluting nature of festivals had been a thorn in the side of associate professor of Innovative Structural Design Faas Moonen for years. With a 2.3 million euro subsidy from Interreg Europe, he began work in 2017 on a sustainable alternative, appointing a postdoc and three PDEng researchers to help him. Nine companies, including the festival organizers of Pukkelpop and Eurosonic Noorderslag, are currently working on his dream and have given it their all in order to meet the strict safety requirements.

The resulting festival tower is now ready for the first extensive tests. “Eventually, a whole group of towers will have to travel around the European festivals and provide them with 100% sustainable energy,” says Moonen. “I also hope that their striking appearance will make festival goers more aware of sustainability.”

Source: TU/e

Sustainable transport
Although entirely sustainable solutions have existed for some time, combining them was a major challenge for the research team. “We had to constantly find a balance between designing a beautiful eye-catcher, guaranteeing safety and our desire to be able to generate as much energy as possible. That was quite a puzzle,” explains Moonen.

Sustainability is not just about generating energy: the tower itself is made of sustainable materials and thought has been given to the sustainable transport of this colossus. Although the precise yield of the tower has yet to be proven through tests, it should be able to generate electricity for no less than 261 days per year. In addition, the base of the tower consists of a three-meter high battery pack that can store 90 kWh of electricity. Energy security can therefore be guaranteed.

Read the whole article on TU/e.

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