Wonderful Engineering

Ocean Cleanup Project’s First Test Carried Out In The Pacific

The Ocean Cleanup project has been busy with trials to check its performance since they moved into an old naval base. Now it is in the process to see how the project will perform in the Pacific Ocean. The team will work at its new assembly plant in San Francisco in February. The requirement to build a 600-meter long screen arrived to make use of the ocean’s natural currents and collect the plastic waste. The towing test is underway in the first of three steps which the team will take in the rolling out of the full-scale barrier by the end of the year.

It also involved a 120-meter long section being dragged around 50 nautical miles offshore to see how it will perform with the tow and in the ocean. The 120-meter section is the first piece of the entire 600-meter system. It was led by a merry dance which made its way out of the sea. The tug was following a specific path which is designed to take the barrier with and against the current and waves. They also kept a close eye on the weather and sea conditions.

The section is supposed to spend a total of 2 weeks in the sea. The team will monitor its hydrodynamics with the trash-catching screens which are both lowered and raised. The lesson learned here will be helping the team to prepare to safely tow a full-length system further out in the Great Pacific Garbage a few years from now. It is expected to go some 1200 nautical miles offshore.

The team is expected to first recover the 120-meter section and use it to construct the full 600-meter system. It will then do the final test before the main project starts. This will have the full system towed around 240 nautical miles offshore for a time period of 40 to 60 days between July and September.