The “Soundscraper” would be a state-of-the-art structure which converts the noise and vibrations a city produces into sustainable energy. The design of the structure was put together by Olivier Colliez, Julien Bourgeois, Romain Grouselle, Cedric Dounval and Savinien de Pizzol as their entry in this year’s eVolo Skyscraper Competition.
The structure would essentially be a skyscraper with an envelope of noise-sensitive cilia to absorb the kinetic energy from urban noise for energy generation. The noise-sensitive material would cover the building in a double layer which would hang on a metal framework a little distance from the external surface of the skyscraper itself. The structure would be located in areas where noise pollution is highest, such as railway junctions and motorways.
Each Soundscraper would feature 84,000 electro-active cilia on the envelope help up by the metal frame to detect noise produced by pedestrians, cars, passing airplanes and trains. Each cilia would also be covered with Parametric Frequency Increased Generators, as the sound sensors are called. On detecting sound, a connected energy harvester transforms the vibrations into kinetic energy which is further converted to electricity by transducer cells. The electricity generated can either be connected directly to the grid or stored for future use.
According to the designers, one Soundscraper could generate approximately 150 MW of electricity (roughly 10% of Los Angeles’ lighting needs) in a heavily populated city. This means the city’s carbon emissions would be reduced. And with a few Soundscrapers, a significant percentage of a city’s electricity can be generated through this sustainable method to all but eliminate fossil fuel-based energy generation.