After a year of engineering, modeling, and trials, the world's largest Christmas star now hovers above the A9 Autobahn near Munich's northern gateway. Affixed to the three blades of the massive wind turbine--70-meters tip to tip--are 9,000 light-emitting diodes (LEDs), all of which use less power than a hairdryer.
The surreal pinwheel is a collaboration between Siemens, a world leader is wind power, and multi-media artist Michael Pendry.
We've seen LEDs used in similar fashion to create patterns and imagery (go Pac-Man!), but this is, well, way big.
(more pics and a video after the jump)
The hovering eco-art piece can be seen every day from 4:30 p.m. to midnight and from 4:53 a.m. to 8 a.m.
From the Siemens press release:
In the following months, the idea slowly became reality. At first, the focus was on the project's technical feasibility. In the spring of 2009, a handful of experts in various disciplines such as wind energy, aerodynamics, lighting and adhesives got together to sketch out all aspects necessary for realizing the project. Answers had to be found for all key issues: How should the LEDs be arranged to have the least possible impact on the wind turbine's aerodynamics? Which type of LED should be used? Which adhesives were most effective for securing the LEDs in every type of weather?
If you'd like to see the wind turbine in action, here's a YouTube video of the piece. (h/t to Digg user Overtoke)