Sun Rays Visitors Center sports a solar thermal power plant

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Eco Factor: Sustainable visitor center designed to harness solar energy.

The Sun Rays Visitors Center by designer Michael Jantzen is a conceptual design proposal for a public visitor’s center, which would be located at the site of a solar electric power plant. This hypothetical power plant would be located in the desert near a major city. It generates electricity by reflecting and focusing the sun’s energy with hundreds of mirrors onto a receiving tower, where the heat from the reflected sun is used to produce steam from water, which in turn generates electricity.

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All of the energy needs of the visitor’s center would be supplied by the solar electric power plant. The visual design of the Sun Rays Visitors Center was symbolically inspired by a three dimensional visualization of the way in which the sun’s rays would be reflected off of the mirrors and focused onto the receiving tower.

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The yellow portion of the structure represents the focused rays of the sun. This part of the structure supports a large power plant viewing platform, and at the same time shades the enclosed portion of the visitor’s center, as well as the open space surrounding it. The enclosed space would be used for offices and displays. It would be fitted with a large center shaded skylight as well as large shaded windows facing the power plant.

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The skylight and windows would also be used for natural ventilation. The shaded open space surrounding the enclosed space would be used for special events. A large exterior staircase would provide access to the power plant viewing platform. The majority of the structure would be constructed from steel and concrete composite materials.

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Thanks: [Michael Jantzen]