The Zero Energy Media Wall is a gigantic, solar-powered LED wall on display at the Xicui entertainment complex in Beijing, which sits alongside the site of the now defunct 2008 Olympic Games.
It is in fact the first ever glass curtain wall to feature an integrated photovoltaic (aka solar-powered) system. Included also are over 2000 color LED lights, which when combined are equivalent to a 24,000 sq. ft. LCD monitor.
It is so large that it is easily visible from up to a kilometer away.
Despite it gargantuan size, the Media Wall is only able to support low resolution visuals, including abstract digital art, weather forecasts, and sometimes even traffic details.
During the day, the Wall sits idly by as its generators gradually gather power from the sun, after which its all unleashed at night via batches of fun and/or informative graphical effects.
The whole project was initially devised by Simone Giostra & Partners, a US-based design firm with a solid track record of producing amazing architectural feats — including the Ara Pacis Museum in Rome, the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York City, and even the Jingya Ocean Entertainment Center in Beijing. Along the way, they were joined my engineers from Arup, manufacturers Schueco and Sunways, and Chinese solar company Suntech.
The Media Wall points to a rising interest in LED technology from China, which currently lags behind the United States and Japan in producing energy-efficient lighting systems. A decrease in the price for raw materials — especially those related to producing LED products — has only helped bolster this new movement.
To pique the public’s interest, the producers of the Zero Energy Media Wall are now hosting the Greenpix Simulator, a web-based software that takes regular Quicktime video content and then displays it as if it were on the wall. This means that anybody can login, import their film, and then see their own creation come to life. Whether user films might one day appear on the actual screen remains to be seen.