The Solar Rain Funnels are proposals for prefabricated, modular, functional public art gathering places that collect and store rainwater, and make electricity from the sun, for the communities in which they are built.
The sizes of the funnels can vary based on site-specific requirements. Each are made of galvanized steel and arrive at the site in prefabricated sections that bolt together. An array of solar cells that convert sunlight into electricity line the top edge of each of the funnels. Each funnel is also fitted with a bench that is mounted around the perimeter at the base.
Any number of funnels can be installed into any configuration. In this example, seven funnels are arranged into a grid over a plaza with gardens planted with low water consuming plants. The funnels partially shade the plaza below and provide a comfortable gathering place for visitors.
Rainwater storage containers and/or diversion channels to other appropriate containment places are installed under the plaza in order to hold the water for later use by the community surrounding the installation. The solar electricity generated by the solar cells is used to pump the rainwater from the storage containers and to light the funnels at night. The excess electricity is sent into the local communities power grid.
Many of these public art gathering places could be installed around the world wherever water shortage conditions occur. In addition to the practicality of the Solar Rain Funnels, they are intended to be symbolic of how all aspects of the built environment should embrace and celebrate environmentally friendly design for the good of all humanity.