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La Semilla de los Ingenios Cultural Center  |   Wind Energy Forest

From the mountaintop location of the La Semilla de los Ingenios Cultural Center site, winds blow over an abstracted forest of bamboo.Sounds musically resonate throughout the “forest” as shifting bamboo leaves and stalks randomly knock against one another as they sway in the wind.

In Mexico, there are 36 native bamboo species. The following are the Bamboo Genera / Species in the La Manzanilla area:

•Aulonemia (3 Species)

•Chusquea (17 Species)

•Guadua (5 Species)

•Rhipidocladium (4 Species)

The bamboo trees of the Center are planted in 118 specially designed pot modules whose random oscillating motion in the wind is harnessed and converted into energy. Together, the trees act as a “live” multi-unit farm installation similar to those seen in Wave and Tidal Energy farms of the ocean that are used to generate electricity. The La Semilla de los Ingenios installation converts mechanical energy from the oscillating modules to electricity using a hydraulic system coupled to a full AC-DC-AC power conversion system. At the stem of each module, two hydraulic cylinders deliver high pressure fluid to a bank of accumulators which in turn supply a uniform flow to a hydraulic motor that is directly coupled to an electric generator.

The bamboo trees define the perimeter of the complex while a community promenade, amphitheater and band shell lie at its center. Visitors and members of the community are invited to stroll the stepped community gardens to experience the site’s vistas, flora and fauna. Under the canopy of trees lie the cultural center and its living quarters. The complex is designed to evolve and grow over time as modular and scalable components begin to encompass and enclose portions of the circular stone retaining walls of the site.