Page 9

//ENERGY FLOWS The first and second laws of thermodynamics state that the energy in the universe is constant and that entropy (unusable, dispersed energy) is always increasing. These basic laws of physics are crucial to understand when observing how humanity has historically controlled and evolved from energy flows. There is a direct relationship between energy flows and cultural transformations as the methods and intensities of harvesting, distributing and storing energy are the basic parameters behind the way history evolves (whether it be energy in the form of agriculture, water, fossil fuels or electricity). This project is primarily focused on how current centralized energy sources feed urban grids at high intensities thus creating a highly damaging source of entropy. In order to understand the current relationships between energy consumption and climate change, it is essential to observe what the energy industry is currently proposing to address this problem. These observations will be analyzed, critiqued and will help inform the main thesis argument. Forward-thinking companies such as IBM and Schneider Electric are actively proposing to implement smart meters into the existing grid to regulate energy usage.2 This adaptation of the existing system would make energy production more efficient and cut down on needless consumption, but also yields individual control of energy to centralized authoritarian companies. This solution is susceptible to outside “energy hackers” and corruption within the central control points. This “Smart Grid” model is already active in many cities and is a viable short-term solution to excessive energy consumption. However, future climate conditions and depletion of natural resources may prove this system to be insufficient for crisis situations. This system also does little in changing the mentality and lifestyles of the energy consumers. Progressive thinkers such as Jeremy Rifkin propose the “Distributive Energy Model” built on a Hydrogen economy.3 This model is much more democratic than the corporate solution as it involves individuals actively producing and sharing energy with one another, while storing surplus energy in the form of hydrogen batteries. Rifkin’s ideas on the “Third Industrial Revolution” involve turning existing buildings (as the predominant problem) into energy producers within the city, networked together with an intelligent grid. Localizing energy flows in a decentralized network creates a much more stable system and encourages an increased awareness of other participants. However, Rifkin’s model is still an adaptation of existing typologies and existing grids. This thesis will take the distributive energy model to a different level, where unplugged typologies that are interlinked by intelligent responsive networks will motivate a radical new way of living. 03

Radical Energy Systems  

<2011>Speculations on connecting decentralized energy flows with networked ecologies in the post-oil era. M.Arch AD Thesis Report - Bartlet...

Radical Energy Systems  

<2011>Speculations on connecting decentralized energy flows with networked ecologies in the post-oil era. M.Arch AD Thesis Report - Bartlet...

Advertisement