Open design competition – Transformation Fence Ground Station 14 – Delft
Status: 3rd prize
Clients: TenneT
Design: Monolab, team: J.W. van Kuilenburg with with A. Oche Marquino, J. Roleček en K. Szóstkiewicz
Year: 2013

GLOW

…interactive patterns of light

TenneT design competition to beautify the fence around a ground station for a transformer unit of the new Dutch 380 KVoltage network.

G L O W does not try to hide or blend the transformer station into its surroundings but instead enhance it in a positive way.

The electromagnetic field (EMF) around the ground station is translated in an ever changing visual experience. It fits the context which has changed from agricultural land into peripheral mixed urban surroundings with paths, recreation, a highway and a nearby residential neighborhood.

5.500 independent LED-pods are attached onto the fence in a random pattern and charged through integrated solar cells during daytime. As dusk sets in the pods start to radiate light. As the luminance is dependent of the local strength of the EMF, a low value will result in little luminance, a high value in a strong effect. The EMF has fluctuations which are translated in wavy patterns of light, comparable to the northern lights. In case of little activity it will look like a starry sky.

The pods function autonomously, charge themselves and are watertight and maintenance free. Pod and backing have an internal push-click closure to avoid removal.

The pods contain a LED unit, a light cell, a coil, a chip and a battery. The coil measures the strength of the EMF and the electronic chip regulates the quantity of electricity from battery to LED unit. Responsive sensibility, response time, maximum luminance and possible colors are parameters that can be set to match the specific surroundings. The 365-m2 surface of fence is accommodated with 5.500 pods. In terms of wind pressure this equals 4.3 %, far below the 20% maximum surface.