Figure2 Model tests with triangular shaped floaters
The floating island should consist of similar shaped components which can vary in size. Space@Sea will develop a concept floater, a dedicated mooring system for floating islands and demonstrate its application using four examples. Rules and regulations, installation and business cases will also be studied. Although the applications are almost limitless, the Space@Sea partners will focus on aquaculture, transport and logistics, energy production and maintenance, and living applications.
Shape and dimensions One of the key elements in the project is the base shape of the floater. The shape and dimensions are selected using a number of criteria such as transport and installation, functionality, flexibility, costs, forces, stability and manufacturability. Figure 1 shows the potential base shapes which were considered for the basic design.
From a hydrodynamic point of view the triangle, used in previous MARIN tests (see Figure 2), is optimal because the hinge forces are judged to be lower. Connected triangles will have three compliant axis to move relative to each other, while rectangles only have two compliant axis. The hexagonal configuration constrains the flow of motions and forces as there are no straight hinge lines. By constraining only every other corner point, the hexagonal
configuration will have the same benefit as the triangular configuration.
Selecting the optimal shape and configuration is related to the design of the joints. Hinge joints are restrictive and would be more suitable for shapes with more compliant axis, such as triangles. More flexible, interconnecting joints however, might cope with fewer compliant axis such as squares.
Buildings will need to fit on the floater, as well as cranes and other items required for the functionality. For living purposes, the triangular shape is not optimal because of the layout of houses. From a functionality point of view therefore, the rectangular shape is the optimal choice.
Manufacturability Another important aspect of the design of the shape and dimensions of the floaters is the manufacturability. Material type and the main dimensions of a floater are decisive in this. The Space@Sea partners are now considering whether the size of dry docks will limit the size of the floater. If, however, there is a big market for floating islands, new and more suitable manufacturing locations will develop.
Model tests and numerical simulations will be done to select the optimal base design
and a detailed design of the floater will then be made. Part of the hydrodynamic design is also the design of a shared mooring solution.
The business case for the four applications individually, as well as with some combinations of applications, will be evaluated for selected locations. The Space@Sea partners believe that activities at sea will increase and attract new activities over time, and that the flexibility of the floating island solution will facilitate this growing community.
Space@Sea will be completed by the end of 2020 and will result in a model- scale demonstrator of the design concept, including the demonstration of activities on top of the floaters. To keep up-to-date with the progress, please check www.spaceatsea-project.eu
and follow us on Twitter @SpaceAtSea.
Space@Sea has received funding from the European Union’
s Horizon 2020 research
and innovation programme under grant agreement No 774253.
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