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Niklas Roy and Jari Suominen are at it again! I last posted about their laser etched phonographic record. Now they’ve gone and outdone themselves by building a power generating water wheel that powers other smaller fountains for personal use by visitors to Gent, Belgium’s King Albert park.

The water wheel uses a Shimano bicycle hub generator to generate low voltage power. This power is then fed to three small bucket fountains which they rented out to park goers. Way to go guys!

fountainproject Hydropower from a public fountain

Says Niklas:

An artist who builds machines, I’m constantly dealing with the issue of how I can power my devices. Usually, I make it the old school way, simply using sockets in the wall of the gallery. But this project in Belgium happened in a public park, where no electricity was available. As there was a huge fountain, Jari and me decided to tap its hydropower and to generate electricity with it, as we found this far more elegant than using batteries. Furthermore, it was fitting conceptually to the devices that we were powering with the large fountain: It was some tiny private fountains that we rented out to visitors of the park.I think the concept of recycling energy which is available in the city anyway has a lot of potential.

Fantastic work, Niklas and Jari!

gentWaterFountains.jpg

Timelab/Summer Camp Privefonteintjes

John Edgar Park

John Edgar Park likes to make things and tell people about it. He works in CG animation at DisneyToon Studios and writes for Make, Boing Boing, and other places online and in print. You can find him at jpixl.net and twitter @johnedgarpark — if you like that sort of thing.


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