However efficient a prison may be, it still typically expends significant energy resources. But what if a prison could actually create power, rather than just consume it? That's the thinking behind lecturer in architecture Dr. Margot Krasojevic's futuristic offshore floating Hydroelectric Waterfall Prison concept, which isn't just self-sustaining, but produces excess energy for homes on the mainland too.
As shown in the image gallery, the renders of Dr. Krasojevic's concept depict a rather dystopian-looking structure. Located in the Pacific Ocean near the Canadian coastline, the prison-cum-power-station sits atop a floating tension-leg platform tethered to the sea bed. A series of cantilevered loops create an even weight distribution.
The design calls for excess energy to pump seawater from the ocean, up into a 12,000 cubic-meter (almost 425,000 cubic-foot) prison hold, which is some 50 meters (165 feet) above sea-level. During peak electrical demand, the seawater is released through nozzles which pepper the carbon fiber outer surface of the building, eventually flowing onto the floating turbines below.
According to Dr. Krasojevic, this system would produce 3.2 megawatts, or enough to provide roughly 2,000 homes with electricity and keep the prison self-sufficient in power, too. The electricity produced is transferred to the mainland via underwater cables.
Dr. Krasojevic also envisions a secondary outer ring of Pelamis-like energy converters to make use of the local wave motions. However, the prisoners themselves take no active part, and there's no mention of anything like a JF-Kit House system for harnessing people-power, for example.
Though the Hydroelectric Waterfall Prison Power Station concept seems unlikely to be built in its present state any time soon, Dr. Krasojevic has been in discussion with developers in Beijing, so the idea itself appears to have piqued someone's interest.