Hot on the heels of Bluebird Marine Systems unveiling of the SeaVax (below) at the Innovate UK 2015 Exhibition, Diveplanit can confirm that work is well-progressed on a completely different design of ‘sea vacuum cleaner’ on the other side of the planet.
The new concept for cleaning up the world’s oceans is reportedly being developed by a consortium working in Havana, with financial backing from London City’s MiSix Group. Based on a novel concept by a Prof. G Greene, the project lead, Dr Wormold, a polymath and marine engineer, is proposing a large semi-submersible vessel dubbed the SSSV or Semi-Submersible Sea Vax.
Technical details are still confidential, but apparently being semi (and fully)-submersible reduces many of the downsides of the existing surface vessel designs:
- it’s not exposed to the elements;
- it’s not a danger to commercial marine traffic;
- it can capture more of the plastic – most of which contrary to popular belief, does not float on the surface.
Unlike a surface ship, it doesn’t need to worry about the volume of plastic captured, because it doesn’t need to carry it like cargo as a floating barge would; it is still held, contained in a large expanding bag inside the vessel below the surface of the water. It actually acts as part of its ballast.
In a brief press release, the consortium secretary Beatrice Severn is quoted as saying “A small prototype has successfully completed sea trials … the only remaining impediment to building a fully operational device is the power source.” The active marine power drive apparently works like the large paddle wheels on the side of a steamboat, though obviously in reverse. London is said to be “very excited” by the progress.
Filed by our Diveplanit Correspondent, with additional reporting by Our Man in Havana.