That’s a bright idea! World’s largest solar-powered chandelier lights up the room as sun shines on it for the first time

September 26, 2012 | by | 0 Comments

The world’s largest solar powered chandelier was unveiled at a British science park today – powered by 700 glass bulbs which light up when exposed to sunlight.

Each bulb contains an individual Crookes radiometer, tiny metal paddles which spin when hit by sunlight, causing the 15ft-high light to shimmer and flicker.

It is the centrepiece of the newly-opened Bristol & Bath Science Park in Emerson’s Green, Bristol, a world-class centre for science and technology businesses.

Video below

The world's largest solar chandelier shimmers as it is unveiled to mark the first anniversary of the Bristol & Bath Science Park

The world’s largest solar chandelier shimmers as it is unveiled to mark the first anniversary of the Bristol & Bath Science Park

Artist Luke Jerram, who created the giant structure, is renowned for his extravagant installations – his ongoing ‘Play Me I’m Yours’ exhibition has seen more than 700 grand pianos placed in cities across the world.

He said: “Scientists and artists often start by asking similar questions about the natural world but end up with completely different answers.

“Both have to take a leap from what can be observed into what is unknown. It’s important to explore these boundaries and limitations.

The chandelier glimmers in the light

The chandelier glimmers in the light

Artist Luke Jerram's creation

Artist Luke Jerram’s creation

The five metre high chandelier is made from 700 glass Crookes radiometers in individual glass bulbs containing metal paddles that spin when powered by sunlight, causing the chandelier to shimmer and flicker

The five metre high chandelier is made from 700 glass Crookes radiometers in individual glass bulbs containing metal paddles that spin when powered by sunlight, causing the chandelier to shimmer and flicker

“For many years after the invention of the radiometer, a fierce debate raged about how they worked and it was many years before it was fully explained.

“They are still beautiful, inspiring and thought provoking.

“In a way, the chandelier couldn’t really be anywhere else but Bristol & Bath Science Park, a place built to solve scientific riddles and to lead to innovation.”

Crookes radiometers were invented by British scientist William Crookes, whose experiments with cathode ray tubes led to innovations which were used in the earliest televisions.

Category: Pictures

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