In image: OceanCleanUp prototype set to launch end of 2017 / beginning of 2018
A breakthrough in the development of The OceanCleanup was recently presented by its CEO and Founder Boyan Slat (1994) a Dutch inventor recognized as one of the 20 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs Worldwide (intel EYE50), and is the youngest-ever recipient of the UN’s highest environmental accolade: Champion of the Earth.
Due to improvements in the design the system is going to be functional in 2018, two years earlier than planned. Also, the efficiency of the system has gone up significantly. Previous estimations show 42% of all existing plastic being cleaned from the oceans within 10 years. But more recent calculations suggest 50% within 5 years is possible.
This big leap in feasibility is largely due to two fundamental changes. Previously the plan was to build one large system, permanently anchored in the seabed. Now work is being done on a modular design based on sea anchors. This means the project can start with an initial group of smaller systems, drastically lowering the startup costs. It also allows the systems do drift on the currents which also carry the plastic. Interestingly this increases the overall performance since the systems now naturally gravitate towards plastic ‘hot spots’.
Each cleanup location can feature up to 50 smaller subsystems. To track their position and collect data, each system is equipped with a GPS-tracker and multiple sensors. The batteries for these electronics will be charged by solar panels. And these solar panels have to pass high requirements due to the demanding circumstances at sea. Standard ‘glass panels’ like you see on rooftops are therefore far from suited. In their search for a supplier with experience in applying solar panels in marine environments they found SUNBEAMsystem who is now a proud supplier of OceanCleanup!
The current design features Tough 18W Flush panels, high-efficiency solar panels specifically designed for maritime purposes. The durable Tough surface is resistant to saltwater and strong UV radiation and the Flush cables on the backside of the panels allow for ‘invisible’ internal connection to the regulators. No unnecessary luxury: the solar panels are mounted directly on the floaters and will continuously be in contact with the seawater.
For The Ocean Cleanup it’s the perfect solution for one of the many challenges in cleaning our oceans of plastic. For SUNBEAMsystem, an honor to participate in this project to save the Oceans.
Interested in the flexible and walkable solar panels from SUNBEAMsystem? Click here for more information.
Do you also want to support The OceanCleanup?
On this page you can make a donation to the project.
OceanCleanup in a nutshell: