May 13, 08
Solar Lily Pads Takes 1st Prize In The International Design Awards

Scottish architecture firm ZM Architecture has developed a brilliant scheme to provide solar power to the city of Glasgow . The concept design is Solar Lily Pads which will float in Glasgow’s River Clyde and soak up the sun’s rays, sending electricity to Glasgow’s grid while also stimulating urban riverfront activity.

Taking 1st Place in the International Design Awards ‘Land and Sea’ competition, the Solar Lily Pad proposal by Peter Richardson impressed Glasgow’s City Council so much the city is now considering testing a small pilot project in conjunction with the Glasgow Science Centre.

Judges were impressed by the idea that energy harnessed on a river could help reduce a city's carbon footprint.

In the IDA project description, ZM Architecture said its project proposed to stimulate river activity and change by using the surface to harness solar power on a large scale.

The energy created would then be transformed and exported to the national grid.

The firm said the design of the lilypads was "inspired by nature" and they could be tethered to the river bed.

Integrated motors would then rotate the discs to follow the sun for maximum output.

ZM Architecture director, Peter Richardson, said: "We are delighted to be recognised for our commitment to providing alternative energy solutions and are excited about the potential of this idea in a range of contexts."

The company hopes Glasgow City Council will be interested in developing a small pilot project in conjunction with the Science Center.