Shock Pods Skyscraper

What if the lightning released in a thunderstorm could be harnessed to power entire cities? This prototype skyscraper draws formal inspiration from the native Banksia plant of Australia.

The Banksia has follicles, or ’pods’, that may release their seeds after many years of lying dormant by opening if burnt or subjected to a similar heat. In a similar vein, ‘the Shock Pods’ are fueled by lightning shocks, capturing the rainwater from a thunderstorm within the openable pods, and electrolysing the water using the power from a lightning strike to break the atomic bond of a water molecule.

During a thunder storm, there is enough energy discharged to power Australia for approximately three hours. With over 2000 thunder storms world wide at any one time, it is an abundant source of energy. By converting this electrical potential energy to chemical potential energy, it can be safely stored between storm events. When the pods are empty they open again to the sky, a visual reminder to the residents of the city the availability of energy and the process of its generation.

This project submitted to the eVolo Skyscraper Competition was included in the Limited Edition Book 'EVOLO SKYSCRAPERS', which features the best 300 projects selected from more than 4000 entries received between 2006 to 2011.

The Shock Pod Skyscrapers was part of the EMAGN 2012 Exhibition 'The Fringe Experience' at the State Library of Queensland, Brisbane, from May-June 2012.

Shock Pods Skyscraper Panorama
Shock Pods Skyscraper Concept Diagram
Shock Pods Skyscraper Power Generation
Shock Pods Skyscraper Explanatory Diagram