A design proposal for a series of tropical islands has just won the Helsinki Energy Challenge. The goal of this contest is to decarbonize heating systems in the capital city by 2030. Projects like Hot Heart by Carlo Ratti Associati are going to make that happen. Hot Heart is a series of islands that store thermal energy and can support tropical forest ecosystems from all over the world. The islands are actually 10 basins that are cylindrical in shape. Each measures almost 740 feet in diameter. The basins serve as hot water reservoirs that are capable of storing millions of gallons of water . The system works like a thermal battery. Four of the 10 reservoirs are enclosed in transparent domes, and this is where the floating forests will thrive. These tropical ecosystems will serve as social gathering spots, and the domes will be warm even during the harsh Helsinki winters. Imagine sitting in a rainforest during the coldest day in Helsinki! Here are the basics of how it works: seawater heat pumps convert wind and solar power into heat, which is stored in the Hot Heart reservoirs. An AI system controls the production and consumption of thermal energy […]

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