Tag Archive | History

The Electricity Museum in Portugal

History tends to thrive in museums, but here the history of electricity thrives BECAUSE it’s a museum.

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The Tejo Power Station is one of Lisbon’s architectural landmarks and boasts a façade of undeniable beauty. In its day it was a real pioneer in electricity generation. Today, almost a century since it was built, the power station has again taken on innovative aspects and a prominent position as an Electricity Museum.
The main part of the permanent exhibition is the power station itself, i.e. all the equipment making up the old generating unit, which is still all there today. The exhibition endeavours to give visitors a clear idea of the way Lisbon’s old thermoelectric plant worked, identifying its different components and explaining how it operated.
Museu da Electricidade

The museum has also been enhanced with other permanent sections on energy-related themes.
An area devoted to the different energy sources, with particular focus on renewable energies:

 

  • An exhibition about the scientists who contributed most to the discovery and development of electricity
  • Models of the whole electricity generation, transmission and distribution process
  • “Experimenting”, a section in which visitors can try out some electrical phenomena for themselves.

    The Electricity Museum also has an education service that organises guided tours and experimental sessions for basic and secondary schools to fit in with their syllabuses.
    Museu de Electricidade

The Electricity Museum

 

Energy Walk by Laura Watts (2014)

Energy Walk

The ‘Energy Walk’ is an ethnographic installation in the landscape. It weaves together the sand dunes and harbour seascape of the Danish Wave Energy Center, in Hanstholm, Denmark, with other landscapes at the energy edge: marine energy in Orkney islands, Scotland, and geothermal energy in Iceland. Over a 40 minute journey it offers you stories, experiences, and dreams of sustainable energy futures from our research project Alien Energy at the IT University of Copenhagen.

The walk begins at Færgegrillen, Hanstholm Havn, on the northwest coast of Jutland. There you can borrow a digital walking stick, carved from the wood of the nearby Thy National Park. Integrated into the digital walking stick is an audio player and headphones – technology that has been handcrafted for the project by GeekPhysical, who are part of Illutron, the floating collaborative interactive art studio.

The Energy Walk was written by Laura Watts, in collaboration with the research team. The Danish version was translated by author Peter Adolphsen.

The walk was launched in September 2014, and is now managed locally by VisitThy.

For those who are unable to visit the seascape of Hanstholm, the album is also available on Soundcloud, and you can download the Soundcloud app to listen to the album on your phone as you walk. The walk is in six chapters, whose beginning is marked in the landscape by wooden posts with the Alien Energy sign.

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Listen to EnergiVandring (Dansk)

 

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Listen to Energy Walk (English)

Video Recordings

You can now watch a 6 minute extract of the 40 minute ‘Energy Walk’ in the landscape of the Danish Wave Energy Center. Watch the video below…

https://player.vimeo.com/video/108659570

The IT University of Copenhagen, Communications Department, has produced an introductory video to the Energy Walk. It features both a description of the walk by myself, as well as feedback from some of the walkers who have travelled with the walking sticks along its path…

LAURA WATTS

Writer, Poet & Ethnographer of Futures

Turbines make the world go round

Future Works

Two great images of ‘very old water turbines’ from Milford Mill, sent to us by project partner and Transition Belper leading light Ian Jackson:

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Images courtesy of Derbyshire Record Office, reference number D3638/59

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Energyscapes: a seventeenth-century city

Future Works

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The energy provided by wind and water was essential to all members of local communities in the past. Everyone had an interest and a shared responsibility to ensure that watermills and windmills were maintained. This image is an early prospect of the City of Exeter, published in 1617 in the sixth volume of Civitates orbis terrarum by Georg Braun and Franz Hogenberg. It depicts the network of watermills located beyond the city walls, in celebration perhaps of the technical control of nature achieved by altering the flow of the water through the landscape. In other words it represents an early ‘energyscape’ bringing power and sustenance to the early modern city. Images like this are important for inviting us to ponder today the long history of renewable energy sources in the landscape, and to consider how concerns about energy security faced communities in the past just as they do today.

The…

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