All Articles
All Articles
TECH

Smart Grid Athletic Lights

Hybrid-powered lighting potentially saves cities cash and energy

by Greg Stefano
on 31 March 2011
athleticlights1.jpg

A finalist in the Philip's Livable Cities Awards, Andrew Burdick's "Smart Athletic Grid Light" prototype has enormous potential to prove how urban development and sustainable design can work together. In association with Ennead, the idea was seeded during conversations with schools and extracurricular groups that were in need of more athletic space in New York City. Burdick realized that the issue wasn't actually space but usage, with most teams needing the space at the same times. His Smart Athletic lights aim to increase the amount of usable time the community can get from a playing field, while minimizing the impact on the environment and the city's wallet.

Burdick's design combines a variety of technologies and features suited to the New York City landscape. The lights use both wind and solar power; in each case the electricity gathering element is customizable to suit the location. If placed in an area where wind is more prominent, the wind turbine on the lights can be raised or lowered for ideal energy production. In the same manner, solar panels can easily be rotated to achieve the highest exposure to sunlight in sunny areas. Ideally, using both these technologies, the lights could produce enough energy to illuminate the playing field but also offset their own maintenance, upkeep and installation costs.

athleticlights-2.jpg

The focus of the concept is to create technologies for public space that can operate off the grid or create a smart grid. Cost effective by nature, off-the-grid streetlights have been proven in other parts of NYC, but Burdick's project faced larger challenges—athletic spaces require much more light than the sidewalk. Designed from the ground up with these issues in mind, his modular system shows great promise and, if awarded the grant from Philips, a functional prototype could prove the usefulness of smart grid technologies for urban and suburban environments.

As part of a greater push to make cities and communities more environmentally and fiscally effective, Burdick's prototype is a bright idea. Dubbing his project "Sustainable Philanthropy," Burdick explains "by this term, I do not mean this project is simply 'green;' rather, it is a project that uses environmentally sustainable technologies to pay for its own maintenance and upkeep, thus being a gift to the community in perpetuity." Economic and sustainability issues should always play a part in the design process, but the recent rise in environmental consciousness and subsequent economic decline make these points exceptionally poignant.

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it
Loading More...