S E A V A X ™
OCEAN CONDITIONER - This vessel is designed to operate in fleets to target ocean waste before it settles on the ocean floor where nobody can recover it. There is nothing like it in existence today, though other ideas for trapping plastic waste are being developed, such as that of Boyan Slat and the Seabin. SeaVax is made more cost effective in operational terms with AmphiMax versatility that slashes the cost of production and servicing by using a portable dock for assembly, launch and servicing.
It seems more and more likely (allegedly) that the European Union deliberately gave the nod to snub all UK applications, including those where any British were part of an EU consortium. If that is true, it explains why all the effort of the SeaVax team, to try and clean up our rivers and oceans, was flushed down the toilet - as part of the Brexit negotiations that failed over Northern/Southern Irish borders. That would land the blame in Theresa May's court, with the ball picked up by Boris Johnson. Who fumbled it soon after, when his unbelievable run of inappropriate behaviour, Covid parties, honours for sale, etc., led to him resigning in disgrace. Having increased the UK's National Debt even more.
That is all well and good. But 'SeaVax' technology was one of Bojo's victims. Technology, that we could do with today. As floods of plastic are still entering the ocean. And we are no nearer banning single use packaging. Indeed, oil refining plants, to step up polyolefin production, is still on the increase.
ISLAND NATIONS AUGUST 2022 - SARGASSUM
Any group of researchers or developers looking to adapt the concept to cleaning up of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, of the sargassum menace, may apply for a free license to use the SeaVax trademark and design, as it may benefit funding applications. The Foundation would be more than pleased to support any such development. A suitably modified SeaVax, deployed in sufficient numbers, may relieve beaches of sargassum build up, while converting the harvest into a potential cash crop. SeaVax machines work better as a coordinated fleet of drones, using SeaNet.
Sargassum is being washed up on Mexican and Caribbean islands beaches in plague like quantities.
Seaweeds such as kelp and sargassum, emanating in 550 kilometer swathes from the Sargasso Sea, might be harvested in bulk using adaptations of the SeaVax concept. It's not the engineering preventing development, it is the politics of exploitative countries who have had a free lunch for years, at the expense of the environment, and need to keep on with such outrages, to try and bail their sinking economies.
Flowing from the H2020 funding disappointments SeaVax on no less that three application, the Foundation turned its attention to zero carbon shipping - where the 'energy harvesting from nature' concept will assist any future SeaVax inspired projects reliant on autonomous operation. Many partners allied to SeaVax development, are equally valid for our Elizabeth Swann project. Following Green Deal matchmaking in September 2020, a consortium was built, aimed at future calls that are on point, perhaps from Horizon Europe, but don't hold your breath. They don't want solutions, only research and conjecture. Funding is just as doubtful in relation to sargassum harvesting, from such sources. But the islanders affected by the exploitation of the fossil fuels they burned to superheat their economies, the cause of the algal blooms, may rise to the occasion. As they eventually found their freedom from oppressive colonial rule.
PRESS 2019 - JANUARY 2020: We
The world is facing food insecurity brought on by accumulated waste the by-product of modern living. Human waste takes many forms causing climate change and disease. This needs to be tackled in various ways of which SeaVax, or a craft much like SeaVax, could provide part of the solution to the plastic slurry we are making of our oceans. The technology, that has been shown to work in small scale will be offered with free licenses to manufacture locally anywhere in the world provided that this is to a similar specification with a SeaNet compatible operating system, to be able to mesh with global operations.
RIVERVAX PILOT - This prototype vessel could leap ahead of other designs to become a reality in 2022 with appropriate levels of support for the development consortium from the European Commission.
CIRCULAR (PLASTIC) ECONOMY
Combined with the machines of Recycling Technologies (for example) SeaVax might return recovered ocean plastic into fuels and base chemicals such that near 90% of recovered marine litter could be recycled back into a sustainable economy.
There are 5 swirling ocean garbage patches called gyres:
SeaVax as a fully developed system was designed to clean up marine litter in these gyres using programmed computers to control the onboard robotics. This represents a significant challenge to those who like solving complex problems with a worthwhile end result.
The SeaVax project encompasses many of the Sustainable Development Goals that the UN are hoping to achieve in one. To begin with Seavax is solar and wind powered, meeting SDG 7 aims and in the longer term SDG13, as in research into zero emission ocean transport. The objective is to develop the innovative technology (SDG9) to help in the fight alleviate hunger and provide food security (SDG2) and the vessels clean rivers and oceans (SDG6). Lastly, WOAA sits well with SDG17 in that the proposed World Ocean AntiPlastic Alliance encourages international cooperation in seeking to clean the oceans as per SDG14.
Development of the SeaVax will not happen overnight. SeaVax is a versatile platform that may be adapted in many ways. We would like to develop this concept from where we are now (March 2019) to include selective micro plastic filtration, such as to protect marine biota. This can be done in several ways, including not allowing any object under a certain size into the system at all. But then that would mean not collecting micro plastic particles, only dealing with macro plastic. Whereas in Year 1 of our 10 Year plan, we aim to use our in-house facilities to prove or disprove ways of doing this - subject to funding - to accelerate the SeaVax concept to TRL 1.
Before any of that, and with the current funding hurdle seeming insurmountable, we are constructed a wind turbine test rig and fitted it to a Ford Transit. This was in 2019. Once that is completed in 2020, we might be able to raise £150,000 to build a floating test rig (bare bones) like that in the diagram below. This would be for 2021. Such construction might not take us to TRL1, but it will show that we can make a lot of headway with very little money. Good thing to, where only big businesses and academia have the budgets to build consortiums for H2020 funding applications. We do not, we tried and realized the administrative difficulties involved. Though we will participate and assist in the formation of consortiums.
PERSISTENT DEVELOPMENT - We've been looking at ocean plastic cleaning for 4 years. That is nothing compared to Thomas Edison's 1,000 plus experiments in the quest to develop a practical incandescent electric lamp. He filed his first patent application for "Improvement In Electric Lights" on 14 October 1878. No less than 22 inventors before him had tried and failed. Success in any venture requires vision and devotion to plug gaps in knowledge and perfect what appears impossible to achieve by onlookers with lesser grit. We are inspired by Thomas Edison and Joseph Swan, researchers on the other side of the Atlantic, that came together to bring low cost light bulbs to domestic users with the formation of the Edison Swan Lighting Company.
Technological areas of development include:
Satellite Plastic Spotting
Sensors and Biota Algorithms
Coastal low budget test rig (set for 2020)
cameras, sonar, lidar (laser range finder), depth sounder, temperature
Water quality sensors: pH, ORP, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, ammonium, chloride, nitrate, salinity, mV, ORP, TDS, Resistivity
GOODIES - In preparation for crowd funding as an alternative to charitable donations, we are sourcing a number of products that may help us cover the cost of our much needed climate change and ocean awareness and conservation works.
The oceans are really one, all joined and constantly transporting waste from one side of planet earth to the other. The Cleaner Ocean Foundation attempted to pull together the heads of state around the world who want to tackle the plastic problem head-on and then to help these Governments to cooperate as efficiently as possible to find and implement a workable solution for the least expenditure.
Simply put, there is no point individual countries cleaning their patch because it will soon be spoiled again by a neighbors dirty habits as tides and currents transport litter from one side of the world to the other and from the equator to the poles. We are all responsible for what is happening even if we do not want to face facts just now.
TESTING - Chris Close (Project Director) is seen here watching the SeaVax proof of concept boat filter plastic particles from water in our test tank facilities, in this case small polystyrene pieces were scattered on the surface and recovered using twin hydrocyclonic chambers to trap the plastic, while clean water was returned to the tank.
PLASTIC HARVESTING INFOGRAPHIC - Though not the actual layout of the machinery, this diagram makes it easy to understand the three stages of filtration to be employed by a SeaVax ocean dustcart, with the third stage of filtration optional, but we believe advantageous.
PROJECT FLOWCHART - The above diagram sets out the project timetable in brief for the first seven years, building on that already achieved from crowd funding. Each year includes reporting on progress to WOAA contributors. Dependent on funding levels, the plan shows product release in year six as the issue of free manufacturing licenses to international partners. In year seven fleet management of the craft coming on line will be necessary. At this stage the campaign to clean our oceans moves into operational mode, while product development moves into a refinement stage to provide upgrades that will be based on incoming data.
TEN YEAR PLAN - Years 7 - 10 will be managing the growing world fleet and monitoring ocean change, again with regular reports to WOAA members as to real and future potential investment returns, based on collected data. You will soon be able to click on the picture above to see early project estimates as a basic level of funding requirement. We are working on this at the moment, so if not yet available please keep this in mind (30-08-18). Please note that these are only estimates ignoring the real world obstacles to funding that could have the effect of multiplying the timescale.
10 YEAR PLAN: PROJECTIONS AS DEVELOPMENT MILESTONES Vs PROJECT COST IN $MILLIONS
We are looking for collaborative partners and suppliers in connection with grant applications from European member states and other third party countries in the following robotics and communications areas:
* Autonomous energy harvesting
* Blue water transfers between unmanned vessels
* Computer programming
* Earth observation, satellites
* Mechanical handling
* Remote fleet control
* Remote human interfaces or drone control
* Satellite earth observation & monitoring
TRL SCALE - The TRL scale is a metric for describing the maturity of a technology. The acronym stands for Technology Readiness Level. The scale consists of 9 levels. Each level characterises the progress in the development of a technology, from the idea (level 1) to the full deployment of the product in the marketplace after level 9.
World leaders have enough on their plate running their own countries, let alone all working to sweep the seven seas of marine litter. Even with the might of the United Nations and World Bank working together to deal with societal challenges, our oceans are getting more saturated with plastic. We could soon become 'Plastic Planet', a Single Use Planet destined to extinguish (most) life on earth because of a throwaway society that lives life in the fast lane.
Why not then leave ocean cleaning to a dedicated ocean alliance, a World Ocean Anti-Plastic Alliance that will work to identify potential solutions and develop them into a plastic safety net with a solution like SeaVax, working with other potential solutions like Boyan Slat's giant ocean scoop and devices like Seabin.
A dedicated alliance might also target global corporations and introduce awareness campaigns that will hit the spot.
OPEN WATER - SeaVax is seen here during open water floatation trials. Please note that this is a small (proof of concept) version of any ocean or river floating dustcart that we hope will be tested on the south coast of England as the project progresses. SeaVax is a selective filtration machine that can be configured to target solid plastics and particles. The machine could also be used in oil spill emergencies, or as a selective fishing vessel. The platform could thus be useful in many ways.
LAB ON A CHIP - SeaVax could benefit from being able to analyze seawater for various attributes in the quest for cleaner seas, using a low cost laboratory on a single computer chip. Such technology could also help control pandemics such as Covid19.
THE WORLD LEADERS IN 2017 - TOP 20 HEADS OF STATE A - Z - MOSTLY REPLACED
Quite a few of the above remain. Putin has waged war on the Ukraine. China is reeling from property over development and energy shortages. India is still reliant on coal. Britain is poorer then ever before, suffering a cost of living crisis with Liz Truss in the running to muck the economy up more. Trump is under investigation after Joe Biden took over, with the US finally introducing The Inflation Reduction Act, devoting $369 billion to clean energy incentives, energy efficiency, green fuels. That researchers say could bring the US in line with its Paris Agreement goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from 2005 levels. Most importantly, the US could be energy independent as a result. Something Europe could learn from, instead of scrambling to buy fossil fuels for the winter of 2023. Theresa May fell by the wayside long ago, her successor, Boris Johnson making more of a hash or running the UK, more interested in parties and gold wallpaper. Let's face it, the current rash of world leaders must be inept, if the climate crisis is anything to gauge their performance by. The oceans don't stand a chance!
After all our work finding consortium members for H2020 and similar funding calls, development (as of Jan 2018) slowed to a crawl.
As Horizon 2020 closes Horizon Europe begins. The UK and EU have made it clear in writing that they have no plans to support marine cleanup operations - at this time also ignoring the plastic flowing from European rivers into the Atlantic, Channel, North sea and Mediterranean, etc., - abut which they appear to take no responsibility. We wonder if there might be a change of heart as fish stocks plummet from toxin bioaccumulation and agriculture fails to deliver protein for the starving billions, leading to global famine.
MARPOL prevents dumping of pollutants at sea under international law. It follows that allowing waste to flow into the sea from rivers is illegal. It matters not that the pollution is not dumped from a ship. It seems to us that we need new international law to make dumping plastic via rivers illegal.
The problem here is that there is no customer for ocean cleaning with the waters constantly moving from one ocean to another it is impossible to provide a cleaning service on a commercial basis unless countries take responsibility for their mess. If nobody cares enough to pay for cleaning, there is no incentive for private investment to even think about developing a business that can never turn a profit.
Brexit is also a potential snagging point that has led our project team to look at alternative ways of raising the necessary financing, that is necessarily more than crowd funding could raise, given the size of the vessel if it is to work efficiently.
Hence we are developing awareness games and looking to build on those platforms to develop a 3D VR experience for tours with eventual returns from these sources to generate an income stream for research that is independent of Government schemes like Horizon 2020 and EMFF calls that really only favour businesses with an existing R&D budget and are not designed to support social projects at a level where anyone accepting the challenge might feel confident enough to want to proceed.
We may still work with existing EU collaborative partners where they may have their own funding support from trading, but we will remain independently funded.
OCEAN CLEANUP GAME - This game is being developed in android and iOS version for mobile devices that are very popular with youngsters - as a free download - so that playing the game is available to all. The objective is to clean up the Arctic, Atlantic, Indian, Pacific and Southern oceans with an on-screen SeaVax to complete all five stages to win the game.
A second free game is to follow to help stop pirate fishing, followed by a truly immersive 3D virtual reality experience that is to be demonstrated all over the UK by way of an ocean awareness campaign. Spreading the message like this is likely to reduce the plastic footprint of those who become more familiar with the marine litter issue.
WHAT WAS SEAVAX?
SeaVax was an autonomous ocean going platform, solar and wind powered and in its final form - able to navigate as a drone that is COLREGS compliant - such as to be able to operate in fleets at substantially lower cost than the equivalent diesel powered boat where the operators have to pay for fuel and salary a crew.
Subsequently, the platform was appraised as a selective fishing vessel where the fish avoidance sensors are used in reverse, and as part of an emergency oil spillage containment system where the selective filtration module is replaced with an oil collecting head and suitable containment tanks.
SeaVax was a trimaran configured as an ocean workhorse that is not designed for speed but for operational efficiency. The designers say that there is no reason why the solar and wind propelled platform might not be affixed to a high speed hull for zero emission transportation. SeaVax would have been assigned a temporary classification as an ocean research vessel.
All of the above was when marine plastic litter was the target. From 2023 onwards, the target is sargassum, with the SeaVax Calypso and Sargasso machines.
The importance given to innovation saw significant differences between countries and industries: Germany, Ireland and Italy, countries where there is a clear government drive for innovation together with a well-established start-up and entrepreneurial culture, have it high on the agenda, and unsurprisingly, innovation also features heavily on the boardroom agenda of life sciences and TMT industries, but less so in construction and energy and resources. Product innovation was the area receiving the most attention.
Growth, performance and disruptive innovation are now more important than cost reduction and financial management. 271 company directors polled by Deloitte say the risk of losing business to competitors and the speed of digital transformation means that disruptive innovation has diminished the importance of cutting costs.
The speed of development of any concept depends on the amount of money that is available for such a project.
From 2015 to 2016 the project was sponsored by the directors of Bluebird Marine Systems Ltd to the tune of £130,000 pounds. From 2016 to 2017 the project progressed with generous crowd funding via Avaaz with significantly more than the original investment to drive the concept on.
In February 2017 the Cleaner Oceans Foundation applied for H2020 funding asking for around €1.5m euros over three years to produce a quarter scale working prototype - and in May of 2017 the COF took over management of the SeaVax project. In June 2017 the European Commission advised that the H2020 application was on a reserved list and that the availability of funds was limited.
At the time of writing (September 2022) SeaVax has received no government backing or corporate sponsorship. The Cleaner Ocean Foundation needed to raise around $400k dollars for 2018 to maintain development momentum above the pace of 2017, and run an ocean awareness campaign. This sum would not have paid for SeaVax to be built but it would have laid the groundwork in terms of continued development. In 2021 the Foundation switched to ocean literacy campaigns, as being a better bet to eventually raise funding.
BATTERY BANK - The number of Lipo packs grows with each new SeaVax experiment. The more complex our testing schedule and the more elements, the greater the number of battery packs that have to be charged, discharged and balanced ready for the next day - and of course during the day. That means two set of packs for each function, so that while one set is being used in the Amphimax and Seavax vehicles, another set of batteries is being charged ready to be exchanged.
FEB 18 GIMBAL DEVELOPMENT - In this diagram you can see the general layout of the gimbal head mounting for the 1/20th scale test model that is due to undergo more tank testing in the summer of 2018. Below you can see the actual bearings before they are joined to the carriage mechanism that lowers the boat into our test tank.
GETTING OUR BEARINGS - These are the actual bearings we are using to make our gimbal head seen here with the stainless steel pins cut, ground and test fitted with collars. Fabrication continues with 'T' section swivels that connect to the hull of the SeaVax model at the lower end - and the carriage above via the instrument head. We are waiting for a delivery of linear rollers to make the slider head that adds another dimension to the free floating movement, as in vertical heave. Copyright © photographs February 7 2018. All rights reserved. You will need the permission of the Cleaner Ocean Foundation to reproduce these diagrams except for educational use or private research.
The Cleaner Ocean Foundation needed to raise around $400k dollars for 2018 to retain development momentum and run an ocean awareness campaign to include a Virtual Ocean 3D virtual reality demonstration. Those sums would not have paid for SeaVax to be built but it would have laid the groundwork in terms of continued development, with the ocean literacy campaign likely to help the project to generate additional funding for 2018 and 2019.
OCEAN CLEANING RIG - The SeaVax ocean plastic cleaning vessel is seen here on an AmphiMax beach launcher in 1/20th scale for testing in our water basin. Copyright © photograph 25 June 2018 Cleaner Ocean Foundation. All rights reserved.
COLLABORATION DRIVE 2017
Representatives from the Cleaner Ocean Foundation and Bluebird Marine Systems were in London on the 31st October 2017 looking for development partners and possible Horizon 2020 funding. A representative from COF was in Brussels on the 9th of November 2017 at the EMFF information day about marine litter and blue growth. A representative will be at the Oceanology International event on the 14th March 2018 at the London Excel. Other events are planned.
OCEAN ALLIES - Boyan Slat's Ocean Cleanup Project continues with this floating boom being deployed in the North Sea for test purposes. Such endeavour can only be applauded and must be supported to see what is possible using this technology.
STANDBY MODE SEPT 2017 >>>>>>> 2018
Until such time as fresh funding allows for the acceleration of the SeaVax project, the Cleaner Ocean Foundation (via its volunteers and associates) will continue to work on the project as far as is possible by carrying out AmphiMax launch simulations and other robotic development.
STEM HULL DESIGN PROJECT 2019
If you are a student at Brighton University and you are interested in boat hull design, check out this project.
THE GAME - "SeaVax Ocean Cleanup" is a computer game for smart phones that is free to download from the Cleaner Ocean Foundation. The objective is to feed the world by ridding the oceans and seas of plastic marine litter. Marine litter is the enemy of fish and fish keep people fed.
Marine litter enters our ocean mostly via rivers and other careless dumping. As the oceans gradually fill up with plastic your task is to use SeaVax ocean cleaners to keep the plastic clear so that fish can grow big and fat to feed the world population. The ultimate goal is to keep the ocean clean using the best deployment of your clean up (battle) ships to save other magnificent sea creatures from the menace of plastic and discarded fishing nets and ropes. We started development of the game in January of 2018. In March we reached revision 4 of the artwork, refining the concept .......... looking for release in the summer of 2018.
LINKS & REFERENCE
MARINE LIFE - This humpback whale is one example of a magnificent animal that is at the mercy of human activity. Humans are for the most part unaware of the harm their fast-lane lifestyles are causing. We aim to change that by doing all we can to promote ocean literacy.
This website is provided on a free basis as a public information service. Copyright © Cleaner Oceans Foundation Ltd (COFL) (Company No: 4674774) 2023.