April 30, 2008 at 4:13 pm #459
In addition to the various obvious ways to get water (desalinization through various technologies, rainwater collection, etc) don’t forget that the air inside the structures will be very, very damp – and dehumidifiers will probably be wanted to reduce the moisture level. That water can be reclaimed (after all, it’s distilled water) and used.
Unfortunately, the power requirements for the dehumidifiers will also have to be provided for.
I wonder if Toshiba will sell one of these: http://www.engadget.com/2007/12/19/toshibas-building-a-micro-nuclear-reactor-for-your-garage/May 2, 2008 at 9:52 pm #1942
There have been proposals in the old book about using cold water from the ocean, pumped up in the living areas, as a method for air conditioning, but it would also allow condensing the humidity in the air on the cheap. On a side note, I have a dehumidifer at home and it does generate liters upon liters of water on a couple hundred watts. I don’t have numbers but it wouldn’t surprise me if it indeed was practical as a water source.
The Toshiba nuke is apparently a hoax, but other companies and people are working on comparable designs.May 3, 2008 at 1:11 pm #1945
As far as I know, this thing by Sevmash (Severodvinsk, Archangelsk county, Russia) is commecrially available (meaning that you can have one built, if you pay for it). It uses the same reactor design that Russia’s arctic nuclear icebreaker fleet has been using for the past 30+ years, so it’s proven tech. It has quite a pricetag, though, and I think it would require a fairly large seasted for it to become economical. For instance, it requires a personnel of 69 and it needs to be hauled to Severodvinsk for scheduled maintenance every 12 years during its 40 years of operational lifespan.
However, with a power-source like that, many problems (including freshwater) become a lot more tractable. So I would definitely keep an eye on floating nuclear power-plants.May 3, 2008 at 8:39 pm #1949
Well, considering the problems (including core breaches) with earlier naval reactors, betting on a russian design may not be such a deal.
Further, I’d rather have a number of smaller reactors (scaleability) rather than one or two that are mission-critical.May 11, 2008 at 11:11 am #1980
Simple cooling towers using the day/night temperature difference and some metal tubing to evaporate seawater while also providing climate control might be designed to provide quite a bit of fresh water with some minimal maintenance (clearing mineral deposits and marine life.) You can do a lot of heating/cooling, and de-humidifying with passive systems if they are designed in from the beginning, and the platform is relatively stable- in other words, if a great deal of the infrastructure is not given over to massive engines and systems for performing a mission other than being live-able.
Designs would be philosophically a bit of a mix between civilian and military shipping: because there would have to be some structure devoted to industry (by which I mean not just commerce, but the actual work of staying fed and afloat), so it’s got design elements simlar to a commercial fishing boat for working equipmnet: you need cranes, and winches, and hoists etc. You need a power plant of some kind and probably some kind fo minor manufacturing capabilty of some kind (garage-style machine shop if nothing else) for instant and minor repairs.
But you also need the safety and redundancy of a military vessel- double hulls, redundant capacity, defensive capability. Even if it is just a small-arms locker, but I could envision eventually, as a minor nation-state of your own, you might need something heavier, perhaps even missile batteries for a very large floating city that might be attacked by terrorists or pirates – and yes, there are still pirates on the high seas.May 23, 2008 at 5:20 pm #2324
At ocean depths of 1,000 to 3,000 ft, the temperature is around 40 Deg F.
“Prosperity is only an instrument to be used, not a deity to be worshiped.”May 26, 2008 at 5:04 am #2404
It would produce fairly brackish water, but if you wanted a leg up on desalination, you could do worse than collecting fog. I’m also very intrigued by the idea of a dehumidifier that rejects heat into (or draws cold water from) deeper water. -JoelMay 26, 2008 at 9:17 am #2420
What about putting the dehumidifier in a greenhouse ? I was thinking of passing a flattened tube inside a greenhouse on top of the seastead, with cold seawater passing through to keep the tube at 4C and condensing the water lost by the plants back to liquid form.May 26, 2008 at 7:33 pm #2450
Probably more cost-effective to use an off-the-shelf heat exchanger, rather than a flattened tube.May 28, 2008 at 4:21 pm #2586
May 29, 2008 at 8:44 pm #2665
- That’s what the Seawater Greenhouse does.
If the stead uses significant amounts of lumber it would be cost benefitial to buy it green and dry it in a solar kiln onboard with the added effect that you can run cold water through the pipes in the kiln to condense the water in the air. Otherwise the solar kiln would need occasional venting to remove humidity anyway and there is no need to waste that water vapor. If anyone is interested I can gather some details on solar kilns?May 30, 2008 at 11:07 am #2709
Storage space is one of your most costly aspects of your seastead. I don’t see how the benefits of slightly cheaper green lumber would offset that cost. You also want to build with moisture resistant materials as much as possible.June 11, 2008 at 1:56 am #3191
But such are not available on the market. I am in no size, shape or form proposing to use this Russian reactor, but this is, as far as I know, the only commercially available floating reactor with a pricetag on it. Having a good look at it may help putting things into perspective.
There is actually one other set of figures that I would love to see: everything related to insurance against blackouts in the Bay Area. A floating nuclear reactor that can supply power to on-shore facilities (the linked Russian thingie has been designed for this very purpose) may provide an alternative to current black-out insurance. Of course, it would be interesting to know how much California’s power generation and distribution business is regulated and whether it is legal to provide power from a ship.
It is still not a proposal to consider this particular Russian design, but something to look at to see how the numbers add up. For instance, whether such a nuclear reactor could pay for itself just by selling availability of power in case of blackouts on-shore and if not, how far it is from breaking even.
The value of this Russian website is that it is the only sea-worthy nuclear reactor with a price tag. The provided data also help estimating the operating costs. Ideal for baseline estimates.November 1, 2008 at 5:56 am #4081
I don’t think this is talked about enough. Seems this resouce is only considered in the context of OTEC, but it is usable without OTEC and is not dependent on it. I think the WIKI should have a section on this.
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