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Hydra Skyscraper - Tesla research facility

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Hydra Skyscraper harnesses the power of lightning which is later used for hydrogen production through the process called electrolysis. This project won the Honorable mention award on the 2011 Evolo Skyscraper competition.
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  • HYDRA SKYSCRAPER


    A competition entry for the Evolo 2011 by a team of students consisting of Milos Vlastic, Vuk Djordjevic, Ana Lazovic and Milica Stankovic. This project was rewarded the honorable mention award from the Evolo 2011 jury.

    For further information consult this link:
    http://www.evolo.us/competition/hydra-skyscraper/
     
    Hydra is a skyscraper that investigates the possibility of creating a power plant that uses hydrogen as source of energy. The international community recognizes hydrogen as a key component of sustainable energy system for the transportation, industrial, residential, and commercial sectors. The power is produced through electrolysis and could be stored in batteries and transported by truck, pipes or cables. Another interesting part is that the by-product of the process is clean water.
    Its exoskeleton is built from grapheme, the basic structural element of carbon allotropes such as graphite and carbon. Grapheme has a high thermal and electric conductivity and is two hundred times stronger than steel. The idea for the Hydra skyscraper is to harvest energy from lightning storms and store the power in several mega-batteries located at the base. The project also includes a research facility, housing, and recreational areas for scientists and their families.
     

    TYPE: Competition work

    DESIGN: Vuk Djordjevic, Milos Vlastic, Ana Lazovic, Milica Stankovic

    2011
  • Competition poster 1
  • Competition poster 2
  • “The Stone Age did not end because we ran out of stones, and the Oil Age will not end because we run out of oil.”          Don Huberts, Shell Hydrogen
  • The population of human beings has increased in the last century by a factor of 4 and the energy demand by a factor of 24. The International Energy Agency expects world energy demand to rise by more than 50% until 2030.
    What would happen when the ultimate source of energy could be free for all humans, when it could be possible to replace all fosil fuels with alternative ?
    The most rewarding alternative sources of sustainable energy is Hydrogen because of his attainability and its low production costs.
    Water is the biggest renewable resource Over 70% of the earth is covered with water. The percent of hydrogen in water measured by weight, is 11.2%. There is definitely an abundant supply.The advantage in using hydrogen as fuel is that, during combustion, it binds itself to the oxygen in the air, and creates water. Hydrogen is therefore totally renewable, and with this in mind, it could be said that we only “borrow” the hydrogen.
  • Energy consumption diagram
     
  • Indocile energy hidden inside Thunderstorms should be used to serve mankind in the future.
    Electrical discharge shell be used for hydrogen production trough the poroces called „Electrolysis of water“.
    Electrolysis of water is the decomposition of water (H2O) into oxygen (O2) and hydrogen gas (H2) due to a direct electric current being passed through the water.
  • Hydrogen production
  • As we already know LIGHTNING is the visible discharge of atmospheric electricity that occurs when a specific region of the atmosphere becomes electrically charged or if a sufficient enough potential differential occurs to overcome air resistance. During storms lightning can occur inside clouds, between clouds, between clouds and air and between clouds and the ground.
    The storm clouds are charged with electricity like a large electric capacitor, the upper layers of storm clouds are positively and the lower layers of storm clouds are negatively electrified.
  • Lightning formation scheme
  • There are more then 16 milion lightning storms in the world every year. An average bolt of lightning carries an electric current of 40 000 amperes (although some bolts can be up to 120 000 amperes), and transfers a charge of five coulombs and 500 megajoules of energy.
    An average bolt of positive lightning carries an electric current of about 400 000 amperes - about 10 times that of negative lightning.
  • Lightning map
  • Lightning does not appear evenly around the planet. Approximately 70% of lightning occurs in the tropics where the majority of thunderstorms develop. The places where lightning occurs most often are:

    1/ Near the small village of Kifuka in the mountains of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. On average this region receives 158 lightning strikes per square kilometre a year

    2/ Above the Catatumbo river, which feeds Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela, Catatumbo lightning flashes several times per minute, 140 to 160 nights per year

    3/ Singapore has one of the highest rates of lightning activity in the world. Lying near the Equator, the weather is hot and hummid almost all year round. Conditions are favourable for the development of lightning producing thunderstorm clouds. An average of 171 thunderstorm days are recorded annually in Singapore

    4/ In the US, Central Florida sees more lightning than any other area. Florida has the highest annual flash rate with an average of 59 lightning bolts per square kilometre a year

    These are only some of the locations where Project Hydra is applicable. And where its purpose can be used to its fullest potential.
  • Form analysis
  • Our main inspiration for this project was the hydra. Hydra is a genus of simple fresh-water animal possessing radial symmetry. Hydras are predatory animals belonging to the phylum Cnidaria and the class Hydrozoa.
    The tentacles of our superstructure are used to harness electrical power from the lightnings. Hydra operates as a strong tree root anchored to the ground underneth the structure while keeping it perfectly stable.
  • Graphene material properties
  • GRAPHENE the basic structural element of some carbon allotropes including graphite, charcoal, carbon nanotubes and fullerenes.
    Graphen has the greatest thermal and electrical conductivity ever measured yet, its also one of the strongest materials ever tested. It has a breaking strength 200 times greater than steel.
    The inner shell of the exosceleton is a hexagonal graphene construction that supports the building. the whole exoskeleton construction acts as a Faraday cage protecting scientists and engineers from thunder strike.

     

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