Sustainability #8: Underwater Parthenon

This may be the strangest example of green energy I’ve seen yet. Designed by the Dutch architect Koen Olthius with his studio Waterstudio, the Parthenon Seawall is essentially a large, underwater recreation of the Athenian Parthenon designed to harvest tidal currents as energy. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, tidal power is a method of electrical production that proposes generating electricity from the motion of the tides which turn a turbine. The Seawall does this by allowing each of the columns to turn as they are pushed by the tides. Each column is actually three different turbines which alternate in the direction they turn which I’m guessing (here I go!) are necessary since one large column would weigh too much to spin at the rate required to generate electricity.

Once the electricity is generated it is stored in the large slab covering the top of the columns which can also double as a green space for a park or residents who want a nice sea view. This plan also has one more benefit which you may not have realized because I didn’t either since I don’t know much about tidal power. The columns have the ability to break larger incoming waves (not 50 ft. tidal waves, but it’s a start) which could increase the safety for anyone on the shoreline. By regulating the power of these waves you can control the shoreline more effectively and make it a safer place for people living there.

This is the website for the designer as well as his proposal.


For more articles related to sustainability go to Sustainability and check out my other pages for excellent content on science, technology, history and more!




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