Celebrating the launch of the Vauxhall Ampera, the innovative new extended range electric vehicle, Vauxhall has teamed up with pop science collective Super/Collider to bring you Science Weekend.
The Weekend will be based around four pioneering installations by designer Patrick Stevenson-Keating accompanied by three days of experimentation and events. The installations will propose a futuristic new look for the fuel pump and the ways it could power the electric car of the future. The installations include:
Solar collector – in the deserts and on rooftops on skyscrapers high above the city, concentrating solar collectors will focus the sun’s energy to heat liquid salt, providing 24-hour power
High altitude wind turbine – in the future, these will stretch into the stratosphere to tap into the gulf stream, sending power from high in the sky
Biobags – located above landfill sites, these vast balloons will slowly collect the methane seeping from deep below, turning a greenhouse gas into an asset
Algae tank – located throughout the future city, these mini tanks will provide biofuel and oxygen for urbanites while giant tanks out in the countryside generate fuel for tomorrow’s fleets
Around the installation centre pieces, the Science Weekend will also feature talks, socials and live demonstrations. Curated by Super/Collider, these will demonstrate the new gadgets and scientific developments of an exciting post-petroleum future and include hydrogen fuel cell racing, personal rapid transport pod demo and nightly laser fusion light shows.
The full line up is as follows:
Friday 17 August / Open 12pm – 10pm
• 5pm: The Future Filling Station
Join designer Patrick Stevenson-Keating for a talk about the inspiration and concepts behind The Future Filling Station.
• 7pm: Urban air quality and Catalytic Clothing
Though we’ve made progress on other forms of pollution, urban air quality remains a worrying problem. Fashion designer Helen Storey and chemist Tony Ryan have created a range of Catalytic Clothing which cleans the air around it. Join us for a discussion with Dr Frank Kelly about the air we breathe and a screening of a short film about this revolutionary new fabric.
Saturday 18 August / Open 12pm – 10pm
• 12pm: Hydrogen fuel cell racing
Arcola Energy’s Feimatta Conteh and Ben Todd present high-powered but zero-emission remote control racing with their miniature hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. After a 12pm talk about their work making Arcola Theatre greener (and a short racing demo), the vehicle will be available to try throughout the day – with short breaks for hydrogen refuelling!
• 2pm: High altitude wind
Wind is much stronger in the atmosphere but wind turbines would need to be huge to take advantage of it. Dr Stephen Longo will discuss a radical redesign of the turbine which would omit the tower and the inner parts of the blades to keep these “wings” flying with help of automatic controls and long cables to transit power back to us on earth.
• 4pm: Thin film solar cities
Join George Dibb from Imperial University’s Energy Futures Lab in the forecourt for a talk about thin film solar: a new technology which could soon be coating our cars and cities with a power- generating layer – turning the city itself to a massive energy source.
• 7pm: Laser fusion future
Nuclear fusion is what keeps the sun shining, and for decades scientists have dreamed of harnessing its power here on earth. Now, using lasers, we may be getting closer to the point we can tap into this clean, green source of unlimited energy. Join Dr Ceri Brenner from the Central Laser Facility for evening of discussion by laser light in the forecourt.
Sunday 19th August / Open 12pm-10pm
• 12pm: Urban farming workshop
Andrew Merritt and Paul Smyth of Something & Son discuss the lessons they’ve learned creating FARM:shop – London’s first urban farming hub and now a thriving workspace, café and events venue packed to the rafters with living – and breathing – food.
• 2pm: Biofuel under the microscope
Join Slavinia Georgieva from Imperial University’s Energy Futures Lab in the forecourt for a discussion about the promise and pitfalls of the next-generation biofuels, and an update on the latest research in the field.
• 4pm: Urban wildlife
Join award-winning architect Catherine du Toit for a talk about 51% Studios’ Urban Birds Nestworks, and a look at how disused structures could be used to provide habitats for urban wildlife.
• 7pm: Green nuclear
First pioneered in the 1960s, molten salt reactors were a promising breed of safer, cleaner and greener nuclear power plants – able to run on an abundant element called thorium. Today, in the face of climate change and resource wars, organisations like The Weinberg Foundation are pushing to get such designs back on the agenda. Come find out why in this unmissable talk and film screening.
Drinks and pizza are on sale at KXFS every day from 12pm-10pm. Visit www.kxfs.co.uk for more information on the Vauxhall Ampera Season.