Sculptor David Edwards, founder of Art Energy Design, and materials engineer Paul Cha have completed installation of a sustainable energy producing public artwork entitled Eco-equation. This project is a Pittsburgh first, harnessing both wind and sun energy. Completed in February 2012, the sculpture is located at 5111 Penn Avenue in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Garfield. Beginning in 2010 Edwards worked with neighborhood leaders, The Urban Renovation Authority, The Bloomfield Garfield Corporation and the architects and designers of the Eco-Designers Guild of Pittsburgh to create models for a public artwork that deliver a simple, direct and positive message.
Acknowledged by the US State Department for his energy producing sculpture Pittsburgh Power Flower, exhibited at Pittsburgh’s 2010 G-20 summit, Edwards was chosen to bring a consensus of ideas into reality. Edwards explains, “We agreed that a kinetic piece would be a dynamic platform to merge art and environmental technologies. Art could be the catalyst to engage a wider audience in the use of small wind and solar energy within urban communities. Distributed energy production, where energy is produced close to where it is used, accounts for the consumption side of equation. Balancing both sides is often described as an art, so the equation itself became the art.”
The 16’ wide by 12’ tall aluminum and stainless steel sculpture harnesses both sun and wind energy by means of embedded solar panels and micro wind turbine. This dual energy supply charges 12 volt deep cell batteries housed within the sculpture. The stored electricity is used to power one hundred LEDs which backlight and illuminate three translucent panels representing symbols for the equation Sun + Wind = Energy. At dusk, timed lighting controllers produce a radiant yellow symbol of the sun, a wind turbine illuminated in blue and the iconic white light bulb with a green sprout as a filament. Edwards notes, “The choice of Pittsburgh as host for the 2010 G-20 summit speaks to a growing world understanding of our city’s potential. At a grassroots level the sculpture exemplifies Pittsburgh’s environmental transformation and movement toward more sustainable community industries.”
Eco-equation was sponsored by the Urban Renovation Authority of Pittsburgh Green and Screen program. Installations use innovate means and materials to revitalize urban neighborhoods.