Physalia is half-boat, half-building, and all green. This mammoth aluminum concept by Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut is meant to travel Europe's rivers, making filthy water drinkable. At the same time, the ship generates more energy than it uses.
A coat of titanium dioxide paint brushed onto the silvery shell will neutralize pollution by absorbing ultraviolet rays, enabling a chemical reaction that decomposes organic and inorganic toxins. (It's the same technology used in certain high-tech concrete that breaks down airborne particulates.) As the vessel whips along, purifying waterways, it can draw on both solar and hydro power. Turbines under the hull transform water movement into electricity, and rooftop photovoltaic cells harness energy from the sun. The roof doubles as a nursery, whose carefully selected plants help filter river gunk, whether from the Thames, Rhine or Euphrates.
But Physalia isn't just designed to be a working ship. The vessel will also be a floating museum of sorts. Scientists who study aquatic ecosystems can hole up in the dedicated "Earth garden" lab, and tourists can visit temporary exhibits in a "water garden" or settle into a submerged lounge that could easily pass for a London nightclub. Callebaut, 33, dreamed up the idea after last year's United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen shone a long-overdue spotlight on global water issues. He has some lofty terms for his project: It's a "nomadic hydrodynamic laboratory," a "fragment of living earth," and a "floating agora" on a "geopolitical scale." Others might just call it a cool idea.
Nice.. access to the photo gallery denied!
More Pie-in-the-Sky projects that will not come to be.
The Environmentalist Dreamer that propose these projects will be shot down by his own Environmental Group's Obstructionist! By the time this comes around, those obstructionist will have in place a solid argument that ships like these block out the sun to the Kelp Beds below, hampering the growth and feeding of some tiny fish no one has ever heard of.
Get ready for $7.00 a Gallon Gasoline...
Interesting!I hope that everyone has a happy Father's Day and a great weekend.
Great idea, but one problem:
Access denied to the photo gallery!!!!!!!!
If environmentalists fix the environment they would be out of work and are thus not to be trusted. Let capitalism and profit potential do what they need to do and $$ will show us how to fix the world.
Seems a little too big to go very far down any river, also unless the hydro turbines are also props it can't really move. It would be good as a mostly static display though.
@The Jackster I never get why $7 per gallon (or whatever monetary amount) is lauded as such an important economic marker. Here in the UK, no doubt far from the most expensive area, petrol is about $6.60 per gallon (£1.20 per litre, =$1.77, 1 Us gallon is 3.8ltrs) and we grumble but we deal with it.
@friedguy Yeeeeaaarrrhhh. Cos capitalism and greed are really good at saving the world. Also, I'll be stunned if you find someone whose job title is environmentalist, or even is employed by a company to do what that label suggests.
I honestly do not understand how building a behemoth of a boat, out of aluminum, (one of the metals with the most energy intensive refining process) will help save the environment.
Sure, it creates more energy than it uses, but will it ever create more energy than it took to make in the first place?
Also, its kinda disgusting how they always market luxury products as "green". The three Rs are REDUCE, reuse, recycle. The very first one, is don't buy it in the first place. Even then, recycle is the last on the list. Do we NEED a giant floating museum (where the transportation costs to and from would be immense?) NO. Then don't call it "green". It is a luxury product, so it can not, by definition, be "green". Unless green refers to the money it will cost, rather than being good for the environment.
Yet another utterly pointless idea put forth to make the "green" movement look good. Just like Priuses or any other hybrid car, this would be more a symbol than a something that would do any real good for the environment. Simple logic would tell you that not making it a boat and just simply applying the same tech to waterways and land would be much more efficient and cheaper.
Listen people, this is actually GOOD for the environment. I mean seriously, did you guys (Scythelord, Lentamentalisk, friedguy) even bother READING the article?! It sure doesn't seem that way.
The whole point of Physalia is that it's purifying water, scrubbing pollution, and Gets. Its. Power. From. Renewable. Energy. SOURCES!
And Lentamentalisk, you're calling 90 mpg (optimum speed Lexus GX-450 hybrid) bad?!
Now imagine this scenario:
Out on the horizon bordering island nations’ tropical waters are giant floats with rotary wind generators that look like sails. In and on these mega structures are facilities which these nations will depend on beyond 3000. From clean rooms to ocean research centers, from marinas to transshipment ports, from mariculture to horticulture, from power generation to desalination, from housing to theme parks - the list goes on.
Now lets take this scenario and do a literature search on what is being researched and built globally by other fields.
In July 1991, Norwegian Contractor built the Troll for Shell Corporation. Total height is 369 meters and the volume of concrete used was 245000 cubic meters. The structure was towed by giant tug boats 174 nautical miles at 1 knot from Vats in Nord Rogaland to the Troll field. It was the tallest concrete structure ever moved on the surface of the earth.
Albert J.Tucker, a division director at the United States Office of Naval Research is overseeing a $16-million research program. They are working on unanswered questions whether giant platforms could be coupled in a tossing sea using giant male-female connectors, hinges or bridgelike structures.
On drawing boards are plans by Sea Solar Power of York, Pa., for a 100-megawatt floating OTEC plant off the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Other proposals include smaller plants in the Marshall and Virgin Islands. Some 98 tropical nations and territories could benefit from the technology.
In 1988, Singapore built the Four Seasons Floating Hotel and was installed in the lagoon of John Brewer Reef, off Townsville, Australia. It is perhaps the best known and most well-documented assessment of an offshore structure in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Since then floating hotels are operating in East Timor, Mymar and other tropical locations.
In Japan, where land is treated as sacred and coastal facilities have reached their maximum capacity, the government, together with the private sectors has been looking beyond the shore for expansion. Japan's Technological Research Association of Meager-Float, recently built a nearly 1,000-foot-long experimental floating platform in Tokyo Bay.
Even within our own field, we are designing slowly towards some sort of huge integrated climatic envelope. But such planning method could spell environmental disaster for the tropical land mass.
Originated in temperate arid zone where there are little or no forest to displace, these same planning principles are detrimental to the indigenous landscape where, the idea of planning was more about daily negotiations with the thick tropical florae and flona than conceptual zoning.
The negative effect can be seen every where. These structures occupy vast areas of land and when they are built over fragile tropical landscape, they promote soil erosion, ocean contamination and deforestation.
Megafloats, on the contrary, simply displace water and provides refuge for marine life in the hot tropical sea. The structure also has an added advantage in achieving energy efficiency due to its position where the sun, wind and ocean are natural energy generating power and cooling plants. Another added advantage for the Japanese megafloat is that earthquake disaster like the one in Kobe may be averted in future.
With available technology, these structures can digest their own toxic emissions and recycle them. This kind of thinking is especially relevant when we foresee the high-energy consumption of the next millennium ahead against a resource starved backdrop. More importantly, they put back where tropical land should be: among rain forest, streams, hills and wild life.
This is my research since the early 90's.
Ugotitguy: Accusing folks of not reading the article while not reading their posts is only going to get you in trouble, silly. Since you missed it the first go around: yes, the boat produces its own power. That doesn't mean that there aren't environmental costs to be considered in its manufacture or that there aren't more practical ways of employing these strategies.
Its self-powering and water filtration effects become rather dubious in considering the total likely yield of either process. It's a little boat hull in a big river; there's only so much sponging it can do, and if the same coating could be applied to commercial boat hulls, it would be far more effective, wouldn't it? And what good is self-powered when you're not *offsetting* anything?
Mostly, it seems designed to help fabulously wealthy patrons feel more carbon-neutral about themselves. = )
jyanzi: And you're not even talking about the article at all. Also silly.
cjeam: It *does* move, and the turbines produce power while it's anchored - like regenerative braking applied to wave power applied to a boat.
Just to amend that, because it sounds like an attack - I'm not saying that this isn't a neat idea, and it'll be very impressive to see in operation.
But it's still, as Scythelord said, only "symbolically" green. (And the hybrids he's referring to, I assume, are the "performance" hybrids - the ones that barely get any better mileage than their conventional counterparts but get used as a way to show off how green you are as a consumer or the brand is as a manufacturer.
The analog of the economy hybrid in this situation would be applying the "filtration" and self-powering technologies of the jellyfish here to existing tour boat tasks and such, if that's possible - although it's equally possible that those kinds of vehicles would have much higher requirements for speed and hours of use in the day.
Although Physalia would have a very little actual direct impact on pollution it is a great way to showcase the effort governments put at work to save the planet. It will make people more aware and reactive about small environmentally-friendly changes they can make in their lives. I would love to see this boat float down to Budapest on the Danube and maybe stop for a while close to the city-center.
Dirk, I agree with most of what you say. I've also read your comments posted in the photo gallery. The boat, while mostly symbolic, would have a larger impact on people than the environment. I think it certainly is a large step in bringing about awareness. Seeing something actually operating (albeit minimally) still lets people know that the "green" goal is obtainable. Given the shallow nature of most people, seeing it such a "pretty" boat sends a message that green does not only mean conserving gas and recycling beer bottles. It can look good too.
I would most like to see the finished product, particularly the propulsion system. A great deal of energy is required to propel a vessel without props (ie water jets). As you said, it will be a very slow boat.
The future for traveling on the Ocean is www.hydrolance.net
The focus of Eco-friendly architecture is on maintaining harmony with the natural features and resources surrounding the building site. It also uses materials that are sustainably grown or recycled, with a preference for materials from renewable resources.
Why not use soy bean oil for fuel, There are a lot of green options available now, comparing product efficiency, and looking for renewable alternatives to common products is helpful. A perfect example is candles. Paraffin candles are made from fossil fuels, and soy candles are made from renewable soy bean oil. They burn cleaner and longer. www.urbanchicsoap.com sells these. Why couldn't the same soy oil be used to power vehicles? Homes could be much better insulated using double wall construction where wall framework is staggered so two thinner layers of insulation overlap. This works well in hot and cold climates.
@millevolt2543, I've always been dubious about using any food source as a bio fuel...
Your post is really informative for me. I liked it very much.
Keep sharing such important posts.
This is such a great and innovative idea. This will indeed be the most beautiful museum anyone has seen ever.