<Peter Von Bartheld> Building a permanent living situation out of common and cheap materials, that is comfortable yet can withstand 10-meter waves that have an impact of 100t per square meter, right..? Pfew... I guess we have to choose between either building a structure that is as efficient as possible in any weather situation, which would for sure mean we'd have to make a lot of compromises, or building one that protects itself in bad situations and unfolds again when the weather clears. Like a flower closing its leaves or a turtle crawling back inside its protective shell. So I've been thinking a bit on how to provide yourself with fresh vegetables during the trip;
Maybe not really shaped like a ship, but more like a buoy... Both of the sketches show how the vulnerable parts can be covered when the weater turns. Well, they look funny, but not too efficient. Lots of vessel and very little space to actually plant something. And no way to reach it. So maybe something like a very basis platform that floats just above the waves? Easy to access via a little path in the mittle. And I've been thinking of all sorts of fancy ways to protect the greenhouse from bad weather, but I guess the easiest would be to just close a lid...
1) We could think of all kinds of hulls, but I guess the best would be to find something you know it will stay afloat no matter how many waves go over it, and using pipes or barrels in this way would also be so much cheaper.
2) A light but strong steal frame raises the beds about a meter above the waterline. in the middle there's a pathway that allows one to work on the beds.
3) The boxes in which the plants are grown are painted black to absorb the warmth of the sun.
4) (plexi)glass sheats cover the boxes the keep the warmth of the sun in there. 5) Since most of the saline plants can be kept small, the boxes don't have to be to deep.
6) Simple lids protect the glass and the plants during harsh weather. With a simple manual pump seawater could be pumber into the boxes to imitate the tides. Via taps it could be released again. Would there be a way to increase the surface area to plant stuff without adding to much material? Bigger, flatter boxes? Would something like this work? Would it be efficient enough?If anyone has any suggestions, please comment! With most of the pictures and ideas i've seen sofar I prefered the ones that actually stick out of the water as far as possible. The salt water attackes everything, (electrical) equipment, food, plants, even the steel rots away from under your feet. For the safest place on earth, the ocean is still pretty hostile...
I really like the idea of the floating bottle! It is so simple! I guess by making the objects as light as possible, the impact of the waves will be minimal. The heavier the object, the stronger the water pushes back. Let's just ride them! I made some suggestions for Cesars floating bottle. The container needs to be open so the plant can still breathe, but thats ok when the bottom is closed and a low piont of gravity keeps it up streight. The weight at the bottom is vital. So the top can stay open, also for rainwater to enter. I think the plant has to stay above the water so it has the possibility to drain excess water and doesn't drown. The principle stays the same. Good idea!
Very cool floating proposals of floating gardens from Peter 2 post before. I'm trying to do the same thing cheaper, and without any welding, minimum labor, material... What if we were closer to the water (maybe as Peter said, the plant might not like it... but can try) and instead of a solid case - having a bag, something flexible. Do plants care if the earth in which they are moves a bit? Maybe after some time the earth and compost becomes compact enough... So, this is the tunnel idea, but with plastic bottles, in a large bag to hold the earth. the structure is made of plumbery plastic pipes, using a few "T"s, where the structures are meeting we can also use rope. And... oh, it doesnt need to be plastic pipes, maybe wood resists better to UV...
Below, other variations on Peter's design (the sphere and the last one that looks a bit like an oil offshore platform on barrels). So basically it is just a bag in which there is a pot containing a plant. The bag is sealed (not all plants like that, some love to be encapsulated) and with a weight at the bottom is pulled down, inflating the top of the bag, ensuring floatation. That's super cheap design! We can create farms of those, the fact that are inflated should prevent the shocks from being fatal. Now, to water the plant, it is more work : need to open the bag (this limitates the size to small small plants to be easy to manipulate), pull out the plant, water, put it back ... it is not very easy... So maybe... A diving bell! And perhaps adding a ring of floatation, in case the bag starts to deflate, so our plant doesnt drawn... hehehe. more ideas? Comments?
<Peter> Can we name a couple of demands that should apply to our ocean going vessels? I like the idea of working with recycled materials; not only is it cheap, it also is a great way to battle pollution. So I definitely think we should try to use old PET bottles, tires and so on. But since it's ocean going It should be reliable, too. The waves will not be 100t per square meter since the vessel will not be very heavy, but still it's going to have to be strong. If you want to take it out there were it can get so ugly, I want something that can take a beating for sure. Is it possible to combine all the factors? I worked on earlier drawings to see if I could combine cost efficiency, product efficiency, reliability of the structure, use of recycled materials and user friendliness on open sea.
It needs to float. By using PET bottles you're using not only a very strong container, you use a lot of them. When a couple of them loose their buoyancy it will hardly have any effect. that's a good thing. Using recycled materials will keep the costs down and the environment happy. It needs to be strong and stable. Seas get rough. Waves are beating the structure up, salt water is very aggressive, it has no shelter from the high winds. By using a cylinder shaped box for the plants it will be able to withstand the impacts of waves. Using plastic or glass fibre the box will remain light which will make it easier to keep the structure up straight and out of the water. The sand in which the plants grow will make the top heavy. For stability, a weight under the buoy will have to make sure the point of gravity stays low. I needs a lid that will increase the strength of the structure during bad weather. It needs work efficiently. A massive construction for just three plants seems like a waste of... well, just about everything. So less is more when it comes to the use of materials. I can imagine big, flat dishes that float on pallets of PET bottles. It needs to be user friendly. Gardening is a lot of work so you will have to be able to reach the plants as well. By surrounding every cylinder by a little ridge you can stand on, you'll be able to work in the gardens. When multiple cylinders are hooked together in a flexible way, the stability and accessibility will increase. It needs to be plant friendly. Plants will not grow in any situation. Making them happy is actually more important then anything else. A super strong construction in which the plants all die, is no use. So the plants need to be above sea level so they will not drown, they need to be protected against high winds, high waves, burning sun, parasites etc. I see this as the biggest challenge actually.