At the Pilkington Vehicle Design Awards 2010 held earlier this year, David Seesing, from Cologne in Germany, was awarded the prize for Best Use of Glazing with his 'Symbiosis' concept car that connects architecture and transportation in a sustainable design. Seesing said the self sufficient system has the ethical intent of sustainable design's twofold objectives: the well being of the inhabitant, and the conservation of the environment.
Land Rover Principal Designer Earl Beckles, who was on the judging panel said of Seesing and his winning project: "(David) had a very innovative approach to tackling environmental issues and sustainability. He created a vehicle that used double glazing as a conduit to allow air to flow through to generate and store energy in the vehicle. It interfaced with a house design structure as well, and the two worked hand-in-hand to regenerate energy and use it more efficiently and effectively."
Symbiosis - image source David Seesing
The innovative design of the Symbiosis consists of a car frame made from aluminum and consolidated with carbon nano-tubes to increase the heat and electrical conductivity of the material. The frames are printed with piezoelectric crystals which generate electricity from the air flow. The car's internal capsule contains a transparent shell which is embedded with photovoltaic cells to collect solar energy and the Symbiosis draws power from four electric motors. This has some resonance with the research of Fiat Central Research in Italy and the Center for Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems at Virginiatech CEHMS but most of the ideas are novel.
Top image source: Royal College of Art
For more read : Energy Harvesting and Storage for Electronic Devices 2010-2020