Southern Cross University School of Arts and Social Sciences has built Australia's largest solar-powered audiovisual production system, nicknamed the Sunflower. The Sunflower has been designed by SCU visual arts and audio technicians and students to look like a giant flower, made up of a state of the art energy generation storage and management system that can be tilted and positioned for optimum orientation to the sun.
It has a 1.2 kw solar panel array and a lithium battery bank that can provide enough power to run a festival stage entirely from solar energy.
The battery storage and electronics have been developed in collaboration with industry partners Creative Environment Enterprises as part of a University and School of Arts and Social Sciences (SASS) research and learning project to power a 5kw sound system using the latest digital audio amplification technology.
The aim of the Sunflower project is to develop a 'think green' ethos within the Australian music industry and to promote best practice in solar and alternative power generation and efficient audiovisual technology. Over the next five years the project aspires to develop and refine an audio visual production system featuring the latest in efficient audio technology and LED lighting that has a very light environmental footprint.
Demonstrating SCU innovation in teaching learning and research
The Sunflower solar audio project demonstrates the creative possibilities that exist within an interdisciplinary approach to research teaching and learning. The collaborative (teambuilding) learning project has enabled SASS students to participate in a creative regional community engagement project that showcases the use of sustainable/ethical technology design principles for contemporary audiovisual production design.
The Sunflower project is ongoing and will take advantage of the focus on community engagement and integration within the Australian music industry. The project maximises the skills development and career pathways and employment outcomes for SCU students by creating a real world project opportunity for them to work alongside and under the guidance of industry professionals.
Sunflower at the 2014 Vivid Festival in Sydney brings life to 'Ray', an interactive, talking light sculpture.
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