— Thermal Islands


The Thermal Island project was developed for a client that was interested in solving a two-fold problem: to meet a future social need, with an activity resulting in a net positive impact on the environment.

A Thermal Island is a structure designed to superheat the interior of a light tower-shaped fabric, enabling it to float, and providing nearby gliders the necessary hot air propulsion to cross large expanses of water. It therefore provides:

A)      Above-surface heat currants providing a safe path for aerial pollution-free travel; and

B)      sub-surface waste heat which promotes the proliferation of new havens for marine life.

The tower’s purpose is to safely deliver hot air to engine-free gliders in its immediate vicinity. The fabric of the tower is especially designed to supply superheated air safely and efficiently via convection, fuelling the wings of gliders. During, and after its operational life, the concrete structure is designed to serve as an ideal shelter for marine fauna.

Transport by air will continue its trend of popularity, despite knowledge that fossil fuels (indispensable for jet propulsion) are dwindling. The visual symbolism of these Thermal Towers is important. A tower fully extended and swinging gently full of hot air, signals pilots the location of a safe thermal stream to maintain their altitude and course.

Analysis: Advanced Computer Fluid Dynamics; Superheat thermal calculations; Rhino advanced volumetrics and mesh-work