The Urban Oasis is designed to work within existing “pocket parks” in New York City as a combined rainwater collector, personal electronics charging station and resting designation for New Yorkers. Intended to not only lessen the demand on the city power grid by using renewable energy to charge devices, the urban oasis is also intended to mitigate grey water overfill in New York’s combined sewer system and, in general, serve as a model for responsible environmental stewardship in urban areas.
The important technical aspects of the canopy specifically analyzed were:
a) how much rainwater could the canopy be expected to collect per operating season
b) what the optimal solar panel angle based off of New York’s specific geographical location was to maximize solar collection and
c) how many full device charges could be expected per operating day. Information was gathered from various local and state organizations. The first prototype is constructed of locally sourced lumber and was assembled by hand using power and hand tools.
Based off of historical rainfall data taken from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as well as the design square footage of the canopy, expected total annual rainfall collection was calculated to be 311 gallons. Using sun angle calculations taken from existing solar charts and averaging optimal angles across each month, it was determined that a fixed angle of 60° would be optimal for solar collection. Based off of the specs of the specific solar panel being used and using research from existing sources of information on solar panels, the urban oasis is expected to produce 147 watt hours per day (which approximates as about 27 cellular phone charges per day.)
The density of the material being used has necessitated design changes to aid in its structural stability. Additionally, New York City specific code is still being researched and experts are being consulted to determine the legal hurdles still to overcome and long term viability of the project existing in a public space.
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