Caribbean Sargassum Problem 3.0

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Sargassum is a natural, even essential, part of the Caribbean's ecosystems but these recent blooms are having a devastating impact on the region, both ecologically and economically. Many tourist areas and islands were inundated this year. It piles up onbeaches, sometimes many feet thick covering large area of shore waters and begins to decay. In the process of decay, the hydrogen sulphide that gets released smells like rotting eggs and many resorts had to close their doors. Hydrogen sulphide is dangerous to humans in large quantities, causing headaches, dizziness, nausea and even asthma has been reported in some local communities. Since the species are Sargassum natans and Sargassum fluitans float they block sunlight creating dead zone beneath them because plants under need sunlight to survive. The cleanup and removal of sargassum is an expensive task because they come in large quantities at fast rate which makes the traditional and modern clean up method very high cost dependent.


Caribbean Sargassum Problem 3.0 is about building a device that can sink the piled up Sargassum under the shore waters by creating an artificial whirlpool by using the principle of centripetal acceleration to direct the floating Sargassum downward and trap the Sargassum under the water. This is done by creating a centripetal force on the shore water where the Sargassum settles in large volume to generate a centripetal acceleration on the shore water carrying the Sargassum to force it move downward with the Sargassum then trap the Sargassum under the water at some depth while the water moves freely at all directions. This property of the motion of the water traversing a circular path is directed radially towards the centre of the circle and has a magnitude equal to the square of the its speed along the curve divided by the distance from the centre of the circle to the moving water. As seen in the following figures, the centripetal acceleration is created by the combination of a single blade turbine powered by an electric motor that crates the centripetal force and a structure that can keep the water movement in downward path which will create an artificial whirlpool. As the centripetal accelerations inside the structure overcome the pressure of the water under the structure, the lower water displaces and the water carrying the Sargassum will travel downward repeating same process over and over. To prevent the Sargassum going upward with the water, there is a shield that acts as a barrier for the Sargassum that will keep it under the structure until it has decomposed and moves further downward to the bottom ground under the water. The structure is fixed to a boat by a detachable connecting rod that maintain the height and stability of the mechanism while supplying power source for the motor that runs the turbine rotor.

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  • Name:
    Anteneh Gashaw
  • Type of entry:
  • Software used for this entry:
    Catia V5
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