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Self-powered street lights from Scandinavia a model of sustainability

Anything designed by a committee, the accepted opinion has it, will look like a dog’s breakfast. That certainly is not the case here. A Scandinavian architecture firm that’s famous for creating some of the world’s most stunning buildings has developed a self-sustaining street light. Working with an umbrella group of industry and academic specialists known as Gate 21, and with several municipalities and big corporations, Henning Larsen Architects created the very attractive looking self-powered street lamp. It works by using a combination of wind and solar power, and LED technology.

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The self-powering street lamp designed by Henning Larsen Architects and a group of design and technology specialists. It uses solar and wind power to generate the electricity that powers the LED light.

The design incorporates solar cells and an integrated battery and control system on the post, and a wind generator on top, all of which provide power for the LED light. The whole unit is modular in design so that it can be scaled to suit the particular application. The height of the pole, the number of solar cells and the size of the wind generator can all be modified to fit the site-specific conditions, according to the firm.

Henning Larsen worked on the street lights with the lighting division of Philips and the design and technology firm Faktor 3 (slogan: creating electricity where there is none). The Technical University of Denmark did the physics and math, calculating such details as the number of solar cells and the size of the wind generator necessary for the device to work as intended.

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Inside Harpa, the Reykjavik concert hall designed by Henning Larsen, winner of this year’s Mies van der Rohe award for architecture. The firm, which places high value on sustainability, has now designed self-sustaining street lamps for Denmark’s cities.

The sleek, spare-looking, black street lamp was designed with aesthetics and functionality “equally weighted” to “complement” Danish urban space, and withstand the environmental conditions of that northern clime. Judging from photos, the result would fit beautifully in any modern cityscape anywhere in the world. In Toronto, for example.

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