Alternative offshore energy storage being investigated

Wind farms and solar-energy plants produce free energy, but the availability can change from minute to minute. In order to be able to compete with more traditional forms of energy production it is important to store surpluses on a large-scale for times of scarcity. Pumped storage, as it is called, was until recently, dependant on convenient geography to be built and done so on a two-reservoir-model. Two individual projects are investigating how to adapt the principle of pumped storage to cheap and reliable systems in order to smooth the output of energy and to become large-scale contributors to power generation.

The first project has been running for a year in Toronto, Canada and is situated at the bottom of Lake Ontorio. Compressed air is pumped to a storage vessel 55 metres below the surface of the water where it is stored in spherical bags made by proprietary material. When energy is needed, the air is released to the onshore plant, its expansion there back to normal pressure drives a turbine.

In Germany the StEnSea system (Storing Energy at Sea) has been launced at a depth of 100 metres in Lake Constance. Rather than storing compressed air, this system uses water to pump energy to and from a series of concrete pressure vessels, turning turbines as it travels.

In The Economist an interesting article about both projects and their expected storage capacity.

Image source: © HOCHTIEF Solutions – Storing Energy at Sea

How would you design a floating city?

You can share your ideas on designing a floating city during the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven from the 22nd to 30th of October, where our floating city design is part of Regeneration.

Our floating city design will be on display and open to feedback from visitors. This way we want to raise awareness on floating development as a solution to sea level rise, land shortage and climate change. And of course all feedback will help us in further developing our vision and design for floating cities of the future.

I am unable to attend the DDW but here are

 my ideas on designing a floating city

Thank you for sharing!

Location and opening hours Floating City @DDW

ddw-2016_2

Photos © Cleo Goossens @DDW 2016

Blue21’s floating city at Dutch Design Week 22nd -30th October


What ideas do you have when it comes to designing a floating city? You can share them with us during the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven from the 22nd to 30th of October. There our floating city design will be on display and open to feedback from our visitors.

Will you not be visiting the Dutch Design Week? Or have you obtained new insights since you have visited our exhibition?

Then you can share your ideas with us here. In doing so you will help us in further developing our vision and design for floating cities of the future. Thank you!

On Regeneration
Our floating city design is part of Regeneration, an exhibition curated by Transnatural.

Regeneration explores the possibilities of regenerating our current, ecosystems. The exhibition will show a variety of projects by artists and designers who deal with issues involved with this ecological regeneration and, simultaneously, they investigate newly possible resources derived from these regenerated ecosystems.

Transnatural composed and curates the exhibition and offers an ongoing cultural program on balancing nature and technology and represents an Art & Design Label. After the DDW the exhibition will travel home to Transnatural where you can visit it until April 28th 2017.

Projects and participants
Caravel / Ivan Henriques (BR), The Salt Project / Eric Geboers (NL), Interwoven / Diana Scherer (NL), The Floating City / Blue21 (NL), Post-Fishing / Inês Marques (PT), Mist Collecting Surface / Robyn Tayler Payne (UK), ReGen Villages / ReGen Labs (NL) & Effekt architects (DK)

Hawaii surf is generating renewable energy

Hawaii is famous for its surfing and legendary waves that attract surfers from all over the world. The American state situated in the Pacific Ocean is testing how they can use these very waves to produce renewable energy that will power homes on the islands.

For this trial two wave turbine machines have been placed in the waters of the Kaneohe Bay. The machines, installed by the U.S. Navy, have been producing enough energy to power around a dozen homes, but the expectation is that future versions will be be able to supply hundreds of homes with renewable energy.

Upworthy.com posted an interesting article on the subject.

Image source:Northwest Energy Innovations

Floating containers transformed into student housing in Denmark

The number of students is continually growing in many European cities, Denmark is no exception. In order to keep up with the rising number of new applicants, the city of Copenhagen is looking into options to be able to house the 24.000 student applicants without housing every year. Bjarke Ingels from architecture firm BIG designed Urban Rigger after entrepreneur Kim Loudrop came up with the idea.

Urban Rigger is a complex of stacked reclaimed shipping containers which have been transformed into 15 living spaces that have been situated around an internal courtyard. The structure sits in the harbor of Copenhagen and due to the use of solar power, hydro source heating and low-energy pumps, it is completely carbon neutral.

According to its architect, Urban Rigger can be replicated in other harbor cities with limited space for urban development. At present several requests have been received by Urban Rigger from North America and there are plans to create a unit in Sweden which means that more floating containers may be constructed in other harbor cities around the world.

Image source: WebUrbanist.com

Blue21 gives keynote speech at Cadac Summit 2016

On the 29th of September Cadac Group and NedGraphics held their annual Cadac Summit for Construction, Government, Infrastructure and Civil Engineering. This edition the theme was Going solo is faster, but collaboration will take you further. Blue21 co-founder Bart Roeffen was invited to be one of the keynote speakers during this event.

In keeping with the theme Bart spoke about how collaboration has helped Blue21 take the first steps on their Blue Revolution. By seeking partners who they can work together with, and learn from their expertise, the realization of the first floating city in the world is now closer than ever before.

Image source: Cadac Group and NedGraphics

Water Faculty in the Museum of Water Rotterdam

For three consecutive weekends Rotterdam was host to the Museum of Water, a traveling museum founded by British artist Amy Sharrocks which travels around the UK and Europe. Blue21’s Barbara Dal Bo Zanon was one of six scientists who participated in a Water Faculty. There water experts spoke about water conflicts, floating cities and the quest to find water on other planets. Under the guidance of Fransje Hooijmeijer, dean from the Technical University of Delft, the Water Faculty explored different aspects of water and how water can be applied in the future.

Image source: Museum of Water

Blue21 to participate in Regeneration exhibition

On the 30th of September Transnatural Art & Design will open the Regeneration exhibition at the Transnatural Gallery in Amsterdam. Artists and designers from all over the world will showcase various projects focussed on regenerating our current ecosystems while investigating new possibilities for future development.

Blue21’s ‘The Floating City’ will be one of the projects on display during Regeneration, which can be seen in Amsterdam until the 27th of April. Alongside the exhibition a side program will be organized consisting of talks, demonstrations and workshops on how we can maintain our natural environment. Regeneration will travel to Eindhoven in October where it will be part of the Dutch Design Week.

For more information on the Regeneration exhibition, its participants and opening hours check out Transnatural’s website.

Image: Joannette van der Veer (Transnatural 2016)

French Polynesia Open to Seasteading Collaboration

Last week Blue21 was part of a delegation of the Seasteading Institute that went on a very promising exploratory mission in French Polynesia. The delegation was honoured to meet with President Édouard Fritch, a large part of his government and the mayors of Bora Bora and Makemo to discuss the development of sustainable floating islands.

“It would be wonderful if we could work with The Seasteading Institute to bring sustainable development and economic activity to French Polynesia,” the President told us through our translator. “Let’s create the future together,” he concluded.

Randolph Hencken, Executive Director of the Seasteading Institute: “We look forward to working with French Polynesia to develop floating island that will benefit our host country and our international community of seasteaders. With numerous protected waters where we could station the first pilot platforms, French Polynesia offers many optimal locations for seasteading from an engineering point of view.”

Joe Quirk, co-author with Patri Friedman of the forthcoming book, Seasteading: How Ocean Cities Will Change the World” adds to that: “Our sustainable modular platforms are designed by the Dutch engineering firm Blue21, who showcased their engineering ingenuity with the famed Floating Pavilion in Rotterdam.”

Former Minister of Tourism for French Polynesia and businessman Marc Collins is a supporter of the Seasteading Institue’s vision. “Polynesian culture has a long history of seafaring across the Pacific Ocean that will contribute to this ambitious project. More than most nations, our islands are impacted by rising sea levels, and resilient floating islands could be one tangible solution for us to maintain our populations anchored to their islands. For many Polynesians, leaving our islands is not an option.”

The Seasteading Institute will send a draft Memorandum of Understanding to the presidency this week.

Read more

Photo Seasteading Delegation: Tom W. Bell, Egor Ryjikov, Marc Collins, Joe Quirk, Randolph Hencken, Nicolas Germineau, Greg Delaune and our engineer Bart Roeffen

Seasteading delegation present proposal to Polynesian President

An international team of seasteading delegates travelled to Tahiti where they had the opportunity to meet with the Polynesian President Édouard Fritch and several other government officials. There they formally presented a proposal for a seastead in the waters surrounding the Pacific Island.  Blue21 co-founder Bart Roeffen was one of the nine team members who travelled to Tahiti to share his ideas on realizing sustainable floating islands in French Polynesia.

The Seasteading Institute wrote a blog on this extraordinary trip.

Image: Seasteading.org

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