The Solar Chandelier

Christian Cerrito
Petra Farinha

A suspended solar/kinetic sculpture that gathers energy during the day, and dispenses light at night.


Classes Sustainable Energy

A kinetic mobile made of up of several independent light seeking, energy gathering BEAM robots. Each segment/robot of the chandelier will rely upon sensor input to move into an optimal position for gathering solar energy. The movements of each suspended robot will affect the positions of those that it is attached to, resulting in an active "fight" for light between the chandelier segments throughout the day. At night, the robots dispense the energy that they have gathered as light, the most successful segments staying lit the longest.

The solar chandelier provides a dynamic visualization of the normally static process of gathering solar energy. Users will witness parts of the chandelier moving and reacting as though simple living organisms, and directly benefit from the energy that they gather.

Chris is the point person on this project.

General public.

User Scenario
The sculpture is intended to be installed in a public space, plaza or park. During the day, People passing by will be attracted to the sculptures movement, while at night to the light emitted by the piece.

The sculpture is made of several BEAM circuits; a Miller solar engine for gathering/storing energy, a Bi-core Photo-Head circuit for seeking light, and a nocturnal solar engine for dispensing the energy gathered, all contained on a PCB of our own design. Low voltage gear head motors are used to position each segment of the chandelier.

No micro controllers were harmed in the creation of this piece, though many analog logic chips met their untimely demise.

We learned quite a bit about analog circuits and Beam technology, both being far more challenging then we anticipated.