Lead: Rodolphe el-Khoury, Chris Chung, Zhengrong Hu
Team: Donnie Garcia-Navarro, Dylan Rzepka
MyEnergy is a photovoltaic array that envelops the University of Miami Metrorail station and powers The Underline – a 10-mile linear park and urban trail below Miami’s Metrorail system. It is both, a monumental façade and a renewable energy source.
The array’s panels rotate throughout the day for optimal solar orientation and maximum efficiency but their motion is correlated to the activity of an assigned individual user of The Underline. A user has to keep pace with their daily activity targets – walking, running, biking etc.— for their dedicated panel to keep up with the motion of the sun. Each user “owns” a discrete panel and they are responsible for their rotation and consequent efficiency; by extension the power output of the entire array depends on the collective activity of the community. At night, the movement of the user triggers the solar panel module to emit energy in the form of light – providing a glimpse into the community’s collective nocturnal status. An APP will mediate the relationship between individuals and MyEnergy, communicating data about how many calories have been burned and how much solar energy has been collected. In addition, the APP allows users to compare and contrast their progress and contribution with their peers and friends. Though inefficient solar energy collection will arise, it is a small price to pay for overall awareness and contribution to both the individual’s well-being, and the community’s energy consumption and collection.
Each module is designed as a triangular prism with each face as an elongated hexagon. The hexagonal profile minimizes the amount of shade to be casted on adjacent modules. While the front face houses the solar-panel, the two back faces allow for images to be displayed that can be seen as the module rotates throughout the day. As MyEnergy faces a highly congested street that serves as a main vehicular artery for Coral Gables, this provides the opportunity for advertising revenue to help support the maintenance of MyEnergy and The Underline.
Through the use of technology, public amenities can be individually distributed to members of the community empowering residents to actively engage and contribute back to the community in meaningful ways. MyEnergy provides the opportunity to engage the surrounding community, promote community wellness, provide a source of sustainable energy, generate revenue from advertising while visualizing the community’s nocturnal activity.