Marine Biology Field Station: A self sustaining power station

Designer Bukowska Arkitekter from Stockholm, Sweden came up with the project idea of Marine Biology Field Station. The main objective behind the project was to build a power station that would be self sustaining. Also the designer intends to use it for two purposes simultaneously i.e. as a field station for producing energy and, secondly, he wants to make it an information and learning center for future use.

Marine Biology Field Station

Researching the needs of algae and how it would influence the spatial organization of the structure would determine the value of the entire process. Algae requires abundant water, carbon dioxide, minerals and light for its growth. Sunlight should neither be too strong or weak. Algae have a tendency to grow and become dense and, when this happens, sunlight does not penetrate beyond 8cm. Circulating the algae would prevent it from remaining on the surface.

There are two methods for growing algae, an open system and a closed system. When algae are grown in translucent photo bioreactors, with some kind of lightning source, it is referred to as closed system. The designer explains that this is a controlled process and all visitors will be excluded. In case of open system the algae is allowed to grow in open ponds, which expose it to natural elements. It is a relatively cheaper process, but you cannot trust its vulnerability.

In conclusion, the designer decided to use a variation of open systems as a solution to this problem. Direct sunlight is not so good for algae so he enclosed the open ponds within underground barriers, which would pump algae out into the skin of the building, allowing proper management of sunlight exposure. This process will also help onlookers who seek to learn from the project as they can look from outside through the transparent fence and also they will get to see the columns of algae when it will change its appearance from transparent to an intense green mass. And finally the whole process would operate in cycles, extracting excess algae and turning it into bio fuel, which would help sustain the building with energy.

Via: Cargocollective

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