Around the world, waterfalls are found commonly. Many waterfalls have enormous gravitational potential energy. To convert the gravitational potential of waterfalls to work, as a sustainable energy source, is a key concept of my design. I experiment a completely new concept to utilize a precisely designed structure as a medium of energy flow and a bridge connecting people and natural. It is also an attempt to establish a self-sustained structure on extreme terrain.
The over dependence on coal and petroleum has made globe environmental issues, such as acid rain and greenhouse gases. They destroyed natural environment. The use of nuclear energy is associated with high cost and general concerns of public. Radioactive isotopes as main fuel of nuclear reactor is also unsustainable. While population is blooming, usable land is constant deceasing. The idea of Waterfall Tower could be a solution.
Waterfall Tower could be located on the Iguassu Falls cross the border of Argentina and Brazil. Iguassu Falls is the biggest one in southern America, and it is also the widest in world. Its width is about 4 kilometers. The difference in height is ranged between 60 and 82 meter. The flow rate is 1756 CUMEC. The ideal locations to build Water Tower are water falls such as, the Niagara Falls, Victoria Falls and Angel Falls.
How it works
The design concept of Waterfall Tower is deferent from contemporary hydroelectric generator station. To construct a dam-powered hydroelectric generator, water mass is stored by man-made structures. It would change the natural landscape on upstream of rivers and potential disrupt the fragile ecosystem. The concept of Waterfall Tower is different than the traditional hydroelectric generator station. The concept of Waterfall Tower is to arrange a series of water-wheel hydroelectric generators on the cliff with the direction of flow. Water-wheel indirectly convert the gravitational potential energy of waterfall to work, which is done on the wheels of Water Tower to generate electric. Excessive electric is stored up in flying-wheel battery to be used in drought period.
Waterfall Tower can be seen as a multifunctional structure. It can serve the purpose of a hotel, wild animal rescue station, jungle fire station and housing facilities.
Exterior surface of Waterfall Tower is designed to shape three-diversion canal, which lead the flow of waterfall into the generator installed on the Waterfall Tower. The flow through the narrow diversion-canal could potentially reach a high velocity. The flow with higher velocity is more useful to make generator work.
Hydro-generator & Flywheel-battery
The main energy transfer device of Waterfall Tower is consisted of hydro-generator, electric generator and flying-battery. Electric generating system and electric energy storage system are integrated to form a closed circular system of energy. Producing and storage of electric energy can be adjusted according to need and runoff change. This system can keep electric balance and avoid producing of energy over or less.