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Composite Mesh Could House Solar Panels

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jmiller   8/12/2011 11:25:46 AM
What kind of durability would this mesh have to have.  I am thinking of different tarps and moving experiences I have had and there is always a tear at a corner that happens.  When you start to talk about a drape over an entire building there have to be some significant forces applied to the building and within the mesh itself.  Imagine this giant sail tied to a building in 50, 60 or 70 mph winds.  In the event of a catasrophic failure what kind of weight would be associated with this mesh?  I like the idea.  But I'm very interested in understanding the physics behind such a mesh.

TJ McDermott
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Re: Function trumps feel?
TJ McDermott   8/11/2011 10:40:40 AM
This does sound like they're putting a silp cover over an ugly, worn couch.  No matter what modern trendy features it has, it's still a slip cover.  This also doesn't address upgrading the interior services (Cat-6 cabling, power distribution, HVAC, etc.).

Rob Spiegel
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How would this look?
Rob Spiegel   8/11/2011 10:34:30 AM
I can't imagine what this would look like. I also can't imagine how this would wear over the years. Perhaps it doesn't matter, since replacing it might be relatively easy. I like the idea of the solar panels, but it sounds like the power generated would be used primarily for the night lights rather than reducing power grid use. Ought to be interesting to see this progress.

Beth Stackpole
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Re: Function trumps feel?
Beth Stackpole   8/11/2011 7:52:50 AM
I too, applaud the environmental possibilities that could stem from draping the eyesore building in a composite mesh. As for the possibility of becoming an architectural masterpiece--I have to agree with Alex on that account. I'm not sure draping the building would alter its appearance much, although for me, the concept conjures up artist Christo's 2005 project when they draped Central Park and surrounding parts of New York in orange "Gates." No environmental impact there, but it sure was a sight to be seen. Who knows--maybe you can combine function and feel?



Alexander Wolfe
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Function trumps feel?
Alexander Wolfe   8/11/2011 7:34:24 AM
This story is interesting for what it says about the environmentally friendly functions which can be performed by the mesh (trapping rainwater; embedded solar cells generating power for LEDs in the fabric to give the building a nice look at night). However, having looked at the picture on the building in the Sydney Morning Herald link you provided, I have to say that covering this building wouldn't make it all of a sudden pretty, or even pleasant to look at. It would just turn it into a different type of ugly.

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