This is the archive of Nuage Vert project which was realised in Helsinki in February 2008.
HeHe (Helen Evans & Heiko Hansen) are developing the project further, more information can be found at www.nuagevert.org.
Environmental Art Award + Helsingin Energia releases more real-time data
Written by Juha Huuskonen
Thursday, 12 February 2009 12:55
Ympäristötaiteen säätiö (Environmental Art Foundation) has chosen Nuage Vert and Maailman onnellisin puu (The World's Happiest Tree) by Kaija Papu and Aino Louhi as the environmental artworks of the year 2008. The annual award has been given out since year 1994 with the purpose to highlight new methods and concepts in environmental art, to increase general knowledge about environmental art and to support and thank the people and organisations who are developing the field.
In connection with the award ceremony, Helsingin Energia announced that they will release more real-time data about energy consumption in Helsinki area. Since Friday 6 February 2009, the hourly updated information about electricity consumption, heating and cooling has been available online. Inspired by the success of Nuage Vert project, Helsingin Energia is the first energy company in Finland to release this amount of detailed real-time information. This level of information transparency about energy consumption is also rare amongst energy companies in the world today. Helsingin Energia sees this as one method to spread awareness about the need to decrease energy use in near future. This is necessary for reaching the goal of providing a larger share of the total energy use by using renevable energy sources. The energy policies of the City of Helsinki aim to increase the share of renewable energy to 20% by 2020.
The next edition of Pixelache festival (2-5 April 2009) will bring this topic into discussion. The goal is to find
artists and designers that could propose ideas of how energy consumption data could be utilized in artworks in the public space of Helsinki or in online applications. Beyond mere information illustrations,
the purpose is to try to find non-conventional ways to use this
information and to explore how we could go futher from the current
'energy talk' to concrete action. Pixelache festival will also gather
ideas and proposals from general audience.
At this point the Nuage Vert team would like to thank Martti Hyvönen, the environmental director of Helsingin Energia, for giving the Nuage Vert project a strong voice of support within the Helsingin Energia organisation. We would also like to thank the company directors for taking an open minded attitude towards the realisation of this unusual artwork, and the many engineers that had to work hard in order to provide the real-time data from the complex information systems.
Nuage Vert wins Ars Electronica Golden Nica and 01SJ Green Prix for Environmental Art
Written by Juha Huuskonen
Monday, 23 June 2008 13:01
Nuage Vert has been awarded the Ars Electronica Golden Nica in the 'Hybrid Art' category!!
Ars Electronica jury gave the statement about the work:
"Pollstream – Nuage Vert transforms clouds into projection surfaces. As
such, these indefinable, constantly and chaotically changing products
of the condensation of water vapor become media bearing political ideas
and messages. Or aestheticized symbols of environmental pollution
caused by carbon emissions. Pollstream – Nuage Vert was developed in
collaboration with experts in laser technology, computer science,
electrical engineering, energy generation and air quality monitoring.
Development commenced in 2002 and concluded in February 2008 with a
performance in Helsinki that impressively demonstrated how art is
capable of encompassing an entire city—its public sphere, its industry
and its inhabitants—and unfolding sociopolitical relevance. Pollstream
– Nuage Vert is the recipient of the 2008 Golden Nica in the Hybrid Art
At last, we have looked at all the pictures that have been tagged on flickr.
Here is a selection of photos from Antti Ahonen aka Anttia (images 1,2,3,4,5,6,8,9), Niklas Sjoblom aka Taivasalla (image 7) & Mika Yrjölä aka Explo (image 10)
Green Cloud brought down the energy consumption by 800 kVA during the Friday 7-8pm unplug event. This is equivalent of the power generated by one windmill running for one hour.
Why does this matter?
This is the first time there has been public monitoring of the collective consumption within a local area. Incredibly, despite the current energy crisis, electricity is only monitored on an individual basis. The results of the unplug event - realised on a tiny budget and with limited resources - shows that making collective information available to a community in a public form can make a difference. As willem Flusser once wrote: Form carries information.
Since energy cannot be stored, producers across large geographical regions have to produce exactly the amount of energy that is being consumed right now, within micro-seconds. It is astonishing that this balancing act works – in Finland, energy grid is connected to Norway, Sweden and Denmark. So, it is true to say that if people in Ruoholahti consume less, there will be no less coal burned at the Salmisaari power plant, but there will be less coal burned somewhere in the Nordic Pool. As Martti Hyvonen explained at the Film-Debate at the Centre Culturel Francais, the more energy that is consumed, the higher the energy prices rise, and the more profitable it becomes to produce energy via expensive and unsustainable methods: such as coal-fired condensing power plants, condensing oil and gas turbines.
The cheapest and most environmentally friendly energy, is energy that is not consumed.
Researcher Jussi Palola from Helsinki Energy has sent us the following information:
"The load of Salmisaari substation decreased 2 MVA on 29 February 2008 between 7-8 pm. The normal value for decrease during this time is 1,2 MVA, so the effect of the UNPLUG event is approximately 800 kVA."
This is the effect of 4,000 residents and 5 large scale companies in Ruoholahti participating the Unplug event. Since Salmisaari substation also measures energy consumed also by those living in Lauttasaari, which includes over 30,000 residents, this is avery sucessful result!
Friday 29th of February 2008 will be the last chance to see Nuage Vert in the sky of Ruoholahti, Helsinki!
The last night of Nuage Vert is dedicated for the UNPLUG event. The people of Ruoholahti area have been asked to unplug their electrical devices between 7-8 pm and go outside to admire the growing Nuage Vert laser projection. Some companies in the area (Nokia, Ilmarinen, etc) have also promised to participate to this event.
Warm drinks and snacks will be served at the stop of tram 8 in Salmisaari, please join us there!
Last Updated on Thursday, 24 April 2008 17:30
Film + Debate
Written by HeHe
Thursday, 28 February 2008 13:55
Please join us tonight for the screening of the OpenSky documentary of Ewen Chardronnet
The screening will be followed by an open discussion, about public opinion and environment art.
18:00 at the Centre Culturel Français, Kaapeli
with Helen Evans (HeHe) and Martti Hyvönen (Helsinki Energy)
Ce film a été réalisé en 2003 sur l'initiative Acoustic Space Lab pour la Maison Européenne de la Photographie de Paris et son Festival Art Outsiders. Il aborde l'idée de conversion et inclut le travail sur le radiotelescope RT32 en Lettonie et le projet Makrolab. Il faisait partie d'une installation plus large qui incluait le projet Radio-Astronomy de Radioqualia et la video du RIXC.
Last Updated on Friday, 29 February 2008 13:50
First photos + videos!
Written by Juha Huuskonen
Tuesday, 26 February 2008 17:36
Long exposure by
* The first photos of Vihreä Pilvi / Nuage Vert are online in Flickr (tags vihreäpilvi and nuagevert), more coming soon...
* Here are also the first videos - we are still experimenting how to film Nuage Vert, better clips will follow soon...
This image shows how to read local energy consumption on the cloud during the week. The kW values shows the actual level on consumption in Ruoholahti & Lauttasaari. The percentage value shows the percentage of 41,000kW, which is the estimated peak consumption for the last week of February 2008. Will it be possible to reach 0 consumption?
Today, on the launch of Nuage Vert, the summer has arrived early in Helsinki. There is no cloud! Please bear with us while we adapt to climate change.
Update on the missing cloud on the opening day: it finally appeared, around 6:30 pm... We will post some photos and videos soon!
Last Updated on Monday, 25 February 2008 10:31
Data what data?
Written by HeHe
Wednesday, 20 February 2008 22:31
Consumption data from the Salmisaari substation
The graphs below created by Jussi Palola, researcher at Helsinki Energy’s Electricity Network Company, show the estimated electrical consumption measured at the Salmisaari substation during the Nuage Vert week. This calculation is based on previous years energy consumption, average weather conditions and annual growth in demand for energy.
From these graphs we can a clear pattern. Energy rises and falls during the day from 23 peaking at 40 MVA, which is equal to amplitude of 40 to 100%. Consumption rises sharply in the morning between 7:00 and 10:00 and falls dramatically between 21:00 and 22:00.
If we compare the the actual consumption values from the last four years with the estimated power consumption in 2008, we can see a steady, regular increase. On the same Friday in 2004, electricity consumption peaked at 23 MVA, whilst in 2008 it is expected to peak at 37 MVA.
Last Updated on Monday, 25 February 2008 11:06
Inside the belly of the beast
Written by HeHe
Monday, 18 February 2008 00:14
We visited the inside of the Salmisaari combined heat and power plant (CHP). It extends 126 meters below sea level, and 150 meters in the sky, and it’s energy reaches the whole of Helsinki. The visit into the belly of the beast, includes rows of gigantic thermal tranducers, boilers, coal grinders, the view from the rooftop and Europe's largest vertical lift conveyor system.
Over the course of a year, approximately 600,000 tonnes of coal is ground into a fine dust and burnt to produce 700 GWh of electricity and 1500 GWh of heat.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 June 2008 10:50
The first laser tests at HUT
Written by HeHe
Sunday, 17 February 2008 11:54
Heiko Hansen and Esa Räikkönen (a researcher specialized in lasers at the Helsinki University of Technology) are testing the Vihreä Pilvi laser. The power of this laser can go up to 8.6 wats and could cause blindness if one would look directly into the laser beam.
The people of Ruohonlahti area should not worry about this - the Vihreä Pilvi laser just passed the test of Finnish 'Säteilyturvakeskus' authorities (it will not cause danger to people in the area) and also has a permission from the aviation authorities (it will not cause the bypassing planes to fall :).
Vihreä Pilvi is using a thermal camera and a computer to track the outline of the Salmisaari power plants exhaust fumes. The camera can see the hot air pouring out from the chimneys even on a foggy weather or in complete darkness.
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