Mike Chino

Hydrogen-Producing Skyscraper Harvests Energy From Bolts of Lightning

by , 03/09/11

hydra tower, 2011 evolo skyscraper competition, evolo, sustainable design, green design, green building, sustainable architecture, hydrogen power, renewable energy, alternative energy, lightning power

Part lightning spire and part futuristic super-tower, the Hyrdra Skyscraper was designed by Milos Vlastic, Vuk Djordjevic, Ana Lazovic, Milica Stankovic, and was an honorable mention in the 2011 Evolo Skyscraper Competition. It’s meant to be implemented in the tropics, where 70% of all lighting occurs – this includes areas like Singapore, Central Florida, Venezuela, and Kifuka in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

When lighting strikes, the spire’s super-conductive graphene skin channels electricity into a massive array of batteries in the tower’s base. This energy is then used to split water into hydrogen gas through electrolysis. The tower’s twisting form was inspired by the Hydra, a simple freshwater animal. The project also includes a research facility, housing, and recreational areas for scientists and families – which we assume are a pleasure to use when the skyscraper isn’t being blasted with one billion volts of electricity.

+ Evolo Skyscraper Competition

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6 Comments

  1. Carol Malortigue August 16, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Very bright idea that needs technical developments and investments in the use of H2 motors. I strongly believe in this durable ans sustainable alternative.

  2. feline74 February 22, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Another challenge: finding places that are struck by lightning enough to make this worth building.

  3. kllrbny March 14, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    A_H: Graphene is highly conductive– nearly perfectly so. Electricity travels along the path of least resistance, and your body is highly resistant. Even if you stood at the base of the tower and bridged the gap between building and ground (worst case scenario), the amount of current that would pass through your body would be negligible.

    The only problem with this design is that current tech only produces graphene in sheets a few millimeters in size. Creating solid structures is certainly several decades away.

  4. A_H March 14, 2011 at 5:53 am

    Can’t imagine how can they do maintenance…. or even build it without someone struck by a lightning bolt or two…

  5. Headpack March 11, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    While it´s true a ligtning bolt has a lot of energy, most of it is immediately lost to the surrounding air as heat and thus not available electrically. And has anyone thought about ground to cloud lightning?

  6. caeman March 9, 2011 at 7:50 am

    Mwuhahahahahaha! They will never laugh me again with my new creation. Igor, raise the platform! Arise, my creation, arise!

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