Tesla Tower

Project Tittle : Tesla Tower (2012)
Site : Jalan Tun Ismail, Kuala Lumpur
Type : Open Ideas Tower Competition
Team Leader : Qhawarizmi Norhisham
Team Members : Yasmin Rahman, Abdurrahman Rashdi, Safwan Mustapha
Collaborating Structural Engineers : Petroyston Puppeteer, Homilan Ginsos (Competition team members)


Kuala Lumpur sits in the collision path of the monsoon, ranking it a city with one of the highest lightning density in the world. This intense atmospheric friction of lightning strikes 48.3 times for every square kilometer of real estate, damaging over 80% of high-rise buildings in the Klang Valley. Highrise buildings are among the most unsustainable building typology within the urban conurbation. The idea of this project is to transform highrise buildings into a bridge linking the earth and the sky to harness clean energy from lightning.


As the heart of Asia’s Lightning Capital, the new Tesla Tower will revolutionize alternative sustainable energy supply by harvesting the raw and clean power directly from a lightning strike. During a thunderstorm, the first rule of safety is to find refuge within large buildings as all its metallic structures, such as re-bars, steel beams and water pipes form a protective Faraday cage. Therefore, a steel tower would be one of the safest sanctuary when lightning strikes.


The most powerful strikes can measure up to 200,000 amperes, enough to light up half a million 240 watt light bulbs for an hour. The energy captured by the lightning rod will flow into the Tesla Sphere, converting the high voltage of energy for storage in the inverted battery dome. The tower will be able to self generate enough energy for its own consumption, and will distribute surplus power to the electrical grid to increase the tower’s revenue.

mdrxa Tesla Tower section

The effects of global warming have raised atmospheric humidity and solar heating thus increased the severity and frequency of thunderstorms in our region. On average, fifty percent of Kuala Lumpur strokes exceed 36 kA, where it is only 28 kA worldwide. Not only the energy of the surge is very high in Malaysia, but the frequency of occurrence as well. As lightning activity is predicted to increase in the upcoming years, Tesla Tower will mark a new era of towers harnessing clean renewable energy from the sky.


tesla tower engineering

First Prize Winner MSSA Open Ideas Competition 2012 [National]
The Era of Tower, organized by CIDB
Undergraduate Prize Awards for a Mixed-Use Tower Design
27 November 2012

CIDB Conference 2012
Palace of Golden Horses
November 2012

International Construction Week
Kuala Lumpur Convention Center
26 – 28 March 2013

Malaysia Hari Ini TV3 (Television Series)
28 January 2013