MARIN tests first floating mega island

Image source: MARIN

In co-operation with Blue21, MARIN has carried out some impressive tests last week!
Please read MARIN’s press release herebelow:

MARIN tests first floating mega island

Floating ports and cities possible solutions to sea level rise and overcrowded cities.

Last week MARIN (Maritime Research Institute) tested an innovative concept for a floating
mega island. The island comprises 87 large floating triangles that are flexibility connected to
one another. Together they form a flexible floating island that can be as large as 1 to 5 km in
cross-section.

Olaf Waals, project manager and the concept developer: “As sea level rises, cities become
overcrowded and more activities are carried out at sea, raising the dikes and reclaiming land
from the seas are perhaps no longer an effective solution. An innovative alternative that fits
with the Dutch maritime tradition is floating ports and cities.”

Floating mega islands offer future-proof living and working space at sea for:
• Developing, generating, storing, and maintaining sustainable energy (offshore wind,
tidal energy, wave energy and floating solar panels);
• Loading and transhipping cargo in coastal areas where there is little infrastructure;
• Cultivating food, such as seaweed and fish;
• Building houses and recreation close to the water.

These types of solutions are part of the Blue Future in which the seas and oceans (70% of
the earth’s surface area) are used sustainably.

The technological challenges are enormous. How do we develop floating mega structures
that are strong and safe enough to withstand winds and currents? How can these systems
be connected together and to the seabed? What is the extent of an island’s motion, and
what effect does this have on the people who live and work on the island? How can we
organise traffic and transport?

But there are also ecological issues. What is the effect of a large floating community on the
water under and around it? How can we make the system cyclic in terms of water, energy,
raw materials and waste?

MARIN is carrying out this research using computer simulations and model tests in its
Offshore Basin (40 x 40 m) in which wind, waves and currents can be simulated at scale.

‘Floating cities likely to become reality in 5 years’ – interview Blue21 at BNR Nieuwsradio

On June 20th, BNR Nieuwsradio Eyeopeners broadcast an interview with Bas Buchner, Director of MARIN (Maritime Research Institute Netherlands), and our Karina Czapiewska, explaining the need and extensive possibilities for floating developments, such as floating energy, aquaculture and cities.

Please click here to hear the interview with Karina Czapiewska and here to hear the complete broadcast on BNR Nieuwsradio.

Collaboration with MARIN: exploring the potentials of floating city design and connections

 

 

 

 

Image source: MARIN

 

Blue21 has recently collaborated with MARIN, Maritime Research Institute Netherlands, to bring the concept of floating cities to the next level. MARIN has developed a numerical model that can predict the response of different floating design configurations in waves. Meanwhile, Blue21 has investigated into different possibilities of floating city design configuration and connections. This model turns out to suit the interests of both parties very well as Blue21 could learn more about hydrodynamic interactions between connections at sea in several model tests and MARIN could use the results from model tests to validate the response of the floating island.

Want to know more? Read MARIN’s full article here.

Floating PV boom era has started!

Image source: Kyocera

Recently many countries facing land scarcity issues have resorted to building PV systems on water as an innovative and less costly way to create extra “space” for generating renewable energy. Floating PV system refers to the installation of solar PV modules on a structure that afloats on water bodies that have lower human accessibility and/or where water conservation is needed, such as retention ponds of wastewater treatment plants, lakes or reservoirs etc.. The benefits of floating PV systems are multifaceted. For instance, a floating PV system has higher power generation efficiency than land-based PV system due to natural evaporative cooling effects from the water. Moreover, by covering a certain percentage of the water body with the PV system, water quality can be improved as less photosynthesis takes place in the water which lowers the risk of having algae bloom.

The first floating PV installation was tested in California in 2007. And globally, there were only three floating PV systems being built before 2014, according to Solarplaza, an independent website platform for knowledge and insights on global solar PV industry. Nevertheless, over the past two years, the amount has escalated to exceeding 70. In particular, it is believed that currently Japan and UK have taken the lead in building testing floating solar farms by far. However, many realizations and new proposals have been in the pipeline elsewhere in the world.

In October, 2016, Singapore launched the world’s largest floating solar PV system test bed where 10 different solar PV systems would be tested and monitored in order to select the one of best performance for scaling up. This year, new pilot projects have been launched in India and Hong Kong. Not long ago this month, China has also just completed the world’s largest floating PV facility and connected it to the local power grid. A market research firm has even concluded that the market of floating solar panels is expected to reach 2.5 GW globally by 2024, leading people to believe that the floating PV boom era might have started!

For more background information about the floating PV market, please read Floating Solar Plants: Niche Rising to the Surface? by SolarPlaza

 

 

Blue21’s article ‘A Blue Quantum Leap’ published by Water Governance Magazine, STOWA

Image Source: Water Governance

We are pleased to announce that our article Een Blauwe Kwantumsprong: Welke Governance Opties Hebben We? [A Blue Quantum Leap: What Governance Options Do We Have?] written by co-founder of Blue21, Dr. Rutger de Graaf-van Dinther, was accepted for publication on the Water Governance Magazine, under the theme Energietransitie [Energy Transition].

In this article, large development and revolutions in humanity are discussed. Within the history of humanity and its revolutions, the ‘Blue Revolution’ aims at providing a comprehensive and innovative approach to urban spatial planning, creating opportunities for natural conservation, sustainable food and energy production while tackling global crises such as climate change, overpopulation and land shortage. The question of how to manage such new water-based development within the current complex social hierarchy and governance structures is discussed.

Dr. de Graaf-van Dinther explains the three phases in the “Blue Quantum Leap”. Phase I describes a floating community begins developing within an existing urban governance structures. In Phase 2 the community grows into a floating district along the coast of a country, where it is controlled as a regular municipality. In Phase 3, the floating district eventually evolves into an autonomous floating city outside the territorial waters. Within the newly developed societies, the concept of “competitive governance strategy” and the rights for people to migrate freely should be universally respected.

To read the full article (in Dutch), please see Page 27 in the publication of 01/2017 from Water Governance.nl

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