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  • LED Xmas Superstar Unveiled
Dec 2009
MUNICH, Germany, Dec. 14, 2009 – Beginning at dusk every evening throughout the month of December, the world’s biggest revolving Christmas star can be seen at the northern gateway to Munich.

Siemens AG, an electronics and electrical engineering company, together with multimedia artist Michael Pendry, completed the lighting installation on Nov. 29, 2009, in time for the first Sunday of Advent.

Images courtesy of Siemens AG.

“Munich has a new landmark for the Christmas season. It stands for renewable energies and energy efficiency – and these are also important issues for Munich. By 2025, we want Munich to be the world’s first city to meet all its energy requirements from renewable sources,” said Christian Ude, Munich’s mayor.

“The Siemens Superstar is a pioneering technological project and an important symbol for the Global Climate Conference in Copenhagen,” said Peter Löscher, Siemens president and CEO. “Green innovations are lighting our way to a better future.”

The project was constructed over the past 12 months and consists of 9000 Siemens Osram light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that are as bright as roughly 20,000 Christmas tree lights, and yet the entire installation uses only as much electricity as a hair dryer.

In good weather, the art object can be seen for more than 18 miles. The span of the Christmas star is nearly as wide as a soccer field.

Superstar2.jpg“I like to take art outside the narrow confines of museums,” explained lighting artist Michael Pendry.

More than 435 yards of power cables were laid for installation – a length that would reach higher than the top of the Eiffel Tower. The lighting installation adds 220 lb to each rotor blade. The LEDs are fastened to the wind turbine blades with the superglue used in space, since under windy conditions, the LEDs are subject to forces up to 20 g – more than three times the g-force experienced by an astronaut during a rocket launch.

More than 30 technicians worked day and night on the installation, which was completed in the record time of two weeks. According to wind tunnel tests, the lights have a minimal effect on the turbine’s performance.

TÜV SÜD, the service corporation responsible for inspecting and testing technical installations, gave its final approval to the installation.

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The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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