Turbine Power

GE, 2012

Music by Eric Gunther


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Nearly 7,000 GE gas turbines generate power for homes and industries all over the world. Using data taken at fifteen-minute intervals over the course of fifteen days from 713 of the turbines, we created an installation that depicted energy production over time. Each turbine’s activity is shown as a time series plot, which flashes briefly when the turbine is put back into service in response to the needs of the energy provider.

Because we found that turbines in the same area displayed similar data, the plots are arranged by their location, allowing regional correlations to emerge as you follow the direction and illumination of individual lines.

While intended to catch the eye of visitors to the lobby, the piece is not simply a generative artwork that is suggestive of a data set; rather, it represents an accurate depiction of the data underneath and is designed to convey interesting aspects of the data’s structure.

Check out the elements of the data that made it into the final interactive installation.