GRID SEASTEADING – flexible platforms
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December 27, 2009 at 2:11 pm #1145
The concept of the seastar platform, the vegetation islands, the bottle island, the uru-settlements, and the discussion of buoyancy distribution on a platform (billswift) – lead me to the conclusion that we might be better off to let go the idea of a seastead as one single solid piece of rigid engineering.
I envision a seastead that is a “wide horizontal extension of long and thin floating elements” – interconnected criscrossing much like mangrove roots – behaving like a tissue floating on the surface supported by buoyancy as the dominating structural support – it must not be a regular and exact grid, it must not even be a uniform building material – we could have long thin concrete floating elements with breakwater function in the wave impact zones, the fibers that hold this tissue together might well be concrete walkways and breakwaters as used in floating marina installations.
The advantage of grid seasteading is that you can stabilize large extensions of watersurface with very little material – without having to build rigid megastructures or going with mega budgets at all. Everything is scaleable, repairable, needs no standardisation.
Example for a grid platform :
Long thin floating elements interconnected – creating a flexible tissue floating on the surface with boyancy as dominating structural support.
Let me hear your thoughts…December 27, 2009 at 11:01 pm #9029
I think this a great idea… I aplogized for not replying to your private communication about this. With the holidays, work and school I have been swamped. I would like to see more in the way of the engineering on this. Having thought about it I think that this needs to be explored. I do think that the “arms” will need to run as deep as the central living structure itself to provide the sort of wave protection you are envisioning and be built at least two feet above sealevel. But as I always say I am not an engineer.
I do think that this would be great for conectivity, createing “lagoons” for aquaculture, and providing walkways between structures. If these can still be constructed for average housing prices (minus the ancillary systems that a community would have to invest in) then this could really create the momentum need to take this movement mainstream.
Please provide any additional information that you can think of or have been working on for the star design to me. If these could be add-ons to the the lens (trilobis) design, not need to be bought from the outset then we might really be onto something. Begin to cultivate recognition in the boating industry, and move on from there.
JohnathanDecember 28, 2009 at 2:23 pm #9040
Johnathan, i think there is a fact we have not paid sufficient attention to, when discussing breakwater seasteading. We have always seen a breakwater as a single piece of solid engineering capeable to stop completly any wave the ocean might bring up against it.
My input is to have a closer look at kelp fields – there is no doubt that the field is a great costal protection – althogh a “single kelp plant” is a almost ridicoulus “breakwater” in the sense of “breakwater engineering” – so the effect is not in the single element the effect is in the “grid” and the “tissue” it forms.
For a single unprotected seastar platform i would build the arms very thin and flexible and very little buoyant – so they should get washed over by very moderate waves. Their function is not to protect the center island – just to make it stable against rolling. It is a comfort function most of all. The arms would increase the wave relevant stability of a 10m diameter floating island to 50m of a industrial structure like the Nkossa Barge – the idea is to get the stability of a oil platform at family house prices for a single unprotected family seastead using small amounts of material at low cost to “spread stability out over a big surface”. That this creates marina like spaces, docking areas, aquaculture pools, connectivity options, and scaleability is almost a side effect.
It is like mangrove roots – they create all kind of additional biological niches, beside their function to provide stability for the tree.
The arms would be concrete shell structures chambered like bamboo – so the building cost is at the 331 Euro per ton – as we generally handle at European Submarine Structures AB. It would be the floating lens adaped to unprotected waters and going grid.January 8, 2010 at 11:21 am #9125
Ellmer your quite right. A flexable structure with a little built in play and give, will work as a good breakwall. Its my favoured option.
Move with the sea and damp it down enough in the process to give you areas of flat water for those that get sea sick. Also a floating wave barrier does not need to be continous. Some geometries like the one below will work. Where the waves pass under and through the gaps in the floating pond fields their velocities become miss matched. Destructive interference flattens the waves in a standing zone.
Note: Not everyone is susceptible to sea sickness. Put the old sea dogs out on the edge and those with jelly tummies in the sheltered areas.
For everyone’s information I was involved with the original Oceania Project in a small way. I’m also in several space organisations. And I have a Degree in sustainable Development, sustainable agriculture and renewable energy,water and sewerage.January 8, 2010 at 11:28 am #9126
Would seastar work better if it were deeper? Assuming 2 meter normal waves and a bouyant structure with a swath like hull at the surface. A keel with a seastar grid 3 meters down would be more stable but would damp the waves less but bouys floating up from the stars arm would damp the waves.
For everyone’s information I was involved with the original Oceania Project in a small way. I’m also in several space organisations. And I have a Degree in sustainable Development, sustainable agriculture and renewable energy,water and sewerage.January 8, 2010 at 2:53 pm #9127
Hello Wesley, i think your farming units would work similar as an ice field which is a quite efficient wave dampener – anything that floats on the surface – dampenes waves even something that fragile as an oil film or kelp tissue. So a farming complex as shown in the picture above is a quite efficient “calm water creator” on itself and double useful.
The idea is just float out a “field of something” to create calm water for the rest of low resistance floats to follow. I agree completly that we are probably much better advised to keep the “floating something” flexibel instead of make it “wavebreaking” – if you break the waves the waves break you back – that is just physics.
What concerns the seastar design, the main goal is to provide rolling free housing – and do it affordable – so i would look in the first round that there is not too much “wavebreaking” going on on the arms as this would require expensive structural strength – ways to get this is make the arms thin, flexible, deep buoyant, possibly submerged at the tips – so arm design will probably depend where in the GRID the particular Seastar is located, and what kind of function you want from the arms. A stand allone in wild sea seastar will have arms thining out flexible, a comunitary seastar within the grid will go for walkway arms, a breakwater function seastar for floating breakwater like arms…January 13, 2010 at 5:35 am #9195
‘Tissue’ wave damping works different than kelp. Cover the surface with a film(tissue). It reinforces the surface-tension, preventing the wave for reaching upward.
The reason kelp fields work is that they break-up the circular flow that transmits energy, in waves. If the circular motion is disrupted, most of the energy is dissipated(mass still moves through the space between the Kelp plants). This circular motion is what makes “under-tow.”
Imagine a wheel rolling along the floor. It reaches a ramp, leading to the shore. as that wheel slows, climbing that ramp, it conserves energy by getting larger. At some point, the top of that wheel begins to push up on the suface of the water, begining to form what we see and call a wave. At some point, it breaks the surface tension and starts forming a cap, then, further in, the circular motion becomes self-evident in the shape we call a curl, as it approaches the beach.
Kelp can make a ‘wave-break,’ just as trees can form a wind-break. The mass hits the outer edge, which bends and deflects, each layer inward, gets less and less of the effect, until you get a milder ‘ripple’, through enough kelp, just as you get a breeze, in the forest.
If you can’t swim with the big fish, stick to the reef
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