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Mobile Self-Powered Bridges

This Energy-Efficient Bridge Can Be Transformed to Sail Around a River

— August 10, 2017 — Eco
Thi self-powered bridge uses photovoltaic cells to power a revolving ballast chamber and a carbon fiber sail into an upright position so that it can be sailed along the Wulanmulun River in Ordos, Mongolia.

The pedestrian bridge consists of hydraulic walkways that expand and contract from the main body of the primary structure, which is partly kept afloat using marine airbags. Additionally, it features a flexible walkway frame, as well as a ring frame that allows the revolving sail to go into a vertical or horizontal position to act like a canopy. The sail is constructed from a steel frame that's clad in carbon fiber, making for a strong, flexible, and lightweight build that can withstand the sail's different movements.

In addition, an array of solar cells line the aluminum Mobius chamber which powers the motor if necessary. Due to this, the bridge can be towed, sailed or motored along the river. Alternatively, the bridge can also fold down into itself. The idea behind this was inspired by the FLIP boat, which rotates by 90 degrees.

The main advantage of this self-powered bridge is its flexible construction that allows it to fit into different areas along the river, while its cantilevered hydraulic walkways are able to span different lengths and support the structure.