Gallery: Floating Hydroelectric Waterfall Prison Generates Renewable En...


Architect Margot Krasojevic‘s Hydroelectric Waterfall Prison is a sustainable prison that doubles as a hydroelectric power station. Designed for a site in the Pacific Ocean close to the Canadian coastline, the concrete and steel structure floats upon a tension-leg platform tethered to the seabed. Deep ocean water is pumped up into the main structure and distributed through nozzles in the cantilevered surface, which direct water onto a series of Tyson turbines below to generate electricity. Underwater cables then run the electrical power to the mainland

+ Margot Krasojevic

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  1. SRBChristian June 21, 2013 at 1:40 am

    This is a fascinating study in rendering techniques and digital sculpting, but this is not architecture. Why must eVolo insist on glorifying projects that are so detached from any sense of reality of constraints of very real economic and physical forces? In what economy would any agency or government spend the kind of money necessary to construct such a prison? Better yet, on what planet would such a structure be feasible to construct against that pesky little thing known to architects and engineers as gravity???

    Btw, the notion of utilizing pumps to push water up to a height to thus in turn allow it to free fall down to a series of “Tyson” generators demonstrates a further lack of familiarity with simple physics and the principles of kinetic energy. This would not create a self sustainable system but would rather create an energy depletion, as the energy required to resist gravity as well as coping with the friction within the pumps and generators would far exceed any energy that cold be recouped by an uncontrolled free fall of a water feature.

    Can we please see some consideration given to design projects that actually celebrates true creative thinking and solution finding that makes for great architects and thus architecture, rather than more sexy images from wannabe sculptors? It’s important that young and future architects recognize that this is not actual architecture.

    Note: I have read the original designer’s added comments that via motion transference coupled with buoyancy that that would mitigate some of the necessary energy required to pump water up to the waterfall feature, but this is still highly inefficient and still looses massive amounts of energy with the free fall approach of causing the Tyson generators to spin.

  2. pauliTyndale March 24, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    What does shiny refer to? The typology? design criteria? methods of representation? or the concept? It may not be completely thought out but I like the direction it’s headed in, as an architectural identity it has a strong strategy even though it may be far from any realisation, it’s an attempt.

  3. March 24, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    There is a ring of wave energy convertors (similar to The Pelamis wave converter) floating around the main structure used to pump and store water into the main section of the design, this energy is free and because it’s in the Pacific there is constant motion and usable energy. The buoyancy hydro force within the funnel of the main floating vessel structure contributes to the pressure pumping water up into the prison volumes before it is let out through it’s surface onto the Tyson turbines below, this alters the height of the prison deck and the pressure hydro release. This is what powers the pumps. Thanks.

  4. marlasinger March 24, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    I think you’re all missing the point; this is not just an electrical generator but it is an inhabitable series of spaces which attempt to be self-suffiecient. There needs to be more cross-disciplinary communiocation for these projects to work as an electrical engineer alone could not design this habitable station, nevertheless it’ s a visonary project.

  5. vandamme March 23, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    This is why electrical generators are designed by engineers and not artists.

    It does look cool though.

  6. Margot Krasojevic March 23, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    The Pacific Ocean is not static, waves and ripples create movement which is in turn converted into energy, for example the pelamis wave energy converter uses trubines to the exact thing. There\\\’s nothing wrong with shiny by the way.

  7. D Balcom March 23, 2013 at 9:16 am

    So the water is pumped up (mechanically, using energy ie: electricity) to be gravity fed through turbines to create electricity…That makes a whole bunch of not sense. A team and I almost contributed to this particular competition and after seeing all of the half truth formalist contributions, I am rather glad that we didn’t. There seems to be the combination of two technologies here, neither of which the designer is very familiar with. One of course is hydroelectric power. Just because the designer spec’d a particular turbine clearly doesn’t exemplify that they have even the most cursory of knowledge of how they operate or the most basic principles of physics that govern the units deployment. The other technology that I think they are trying to allude to is OTEC, or Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion. This technology of energy production was actually one that we were going to include in our proposal, only ours was placed in a more geographically appropriate location. Given that OTEC works by utilizing the drastic ΔT between deep sea waters and the warmer temperatures at the surface; there are areas off the coast of Canada where OTEC could work, in theory, but the most viable and currently productive OTEC installations are in the S Pacific and Caribbean. Regions with a consistently warmer climate near the surface are those that benefit most from the process of OTEC and therefore, a climate that is described as temperate at best, would see only minimal energy production.

  8. michigandiesel March 23, 2013 at 9:01 am

    It looks lovely. It makes no sense. It will use energy to pump water to a higher elevation. It will capture less energy from the falling water. It has the logic of putting a fan in front of a wind turbin. No allowance for friction losses. I once read a wise statement to use in evaluating energy ideas, \\\”Follow the BTUs\\\”

  9. jongatto March 23, 2013 at 7:05 am

    So, what, in what looks like the usual shiny nonsense, powers the pumps..?

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