The theme of holiday displays of green technology, seen recently in GE’s concept design of Santa’s sleigh, is also being pulled off by other corporations developing eco-friendly tech ideas. Siemens is one such entity in this regard, earlier this month unveiling in Munich, Germany, a 21st century, green Christmas Star.
The Siemens Christmas Star, illuminated until January 6, is a giant wind turbine outfitted with lots of LED lights. It was designed in cooperation with multimedia artist Michael Pendry and is said to be “the world’s biggest revolving Christmas star.” Siemens says the lighting installation consists of 9,000 Siemens Osram light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that are as bright as around 20,000 Christmas candles, yet only use “as much electricity as a hair dryer or a water kettle.” On a good day, it is said the star can be seen nearly 30 km away, with the span of it being nearly as wide as a soccer field.
There was apparently quite a degree of work necessary to put this project together, from securing the necessary permits to the actual engineering and design. A variety of questions had to be answered, according to Siemens, such as: How should the LEDs be arranged to have the least possible impact on the wind turbine’s aerodynamics? Which type of LED should be used? Which adhesives were most effective for securing the LEDs in every type of weather? One solution to these questions, for example, the LEDs being fastened “to the wind turbine blades with superglue used in space, since under windy conditions the LEDs are subject to forces up to 20 G, or more than three times the g-force experienced by an astronaut during a rocket launch.”