The impressive ball which appears to float on the sea front of Santa Monica’s famous Boardwalk, is more than a glittering piece of art. The desalination plant can produce about two million litres of drinking water per year, and in addition power supply everything from wave and solar power.
From a distance, it looks as if the giant ball on the surface of the water is slightly unreal in the blazing California Sun. The utopian-like object with its glittering and reflecting surface is there for the time being only as a design project of the Korean architects, Heerim Architects & Planners.
But the ball with a diameter of 40 m has it all. In the drought-stricken California, it could produce 2.2 million litres of drinking water per year and dine also still around 3.8 MWh of electricity into the grid.
Energy is generated in the walls
The four architects Jaesik Lim, Ahyoung Lee, Jaeyeol Kim and Taegu Lim at the this year’s design competition “Land art generator initiative” for Santa Monica have submitted their project “The Clear Orb”. So they ended up with the finalists of the contest the winner will be announced in October. Actually floats the ball not over water of course but is embedded in a system, which is accessible for visitors. The ball can be reached from Pier from the famous boardwalk in Santa Monica about a road that slowly falls under the surface of the water.
The walls of the 300m long access road have several functions. The inside is designed as a nature trail, on the visitors met several already extinct species a reminder of the necessary coexistence of man and nature. The external wall, however, has an interesting and very practical task: on the page, which is located to the open sea, the wall has an open facing the water Chamber below the surface of the water. The approaching waves push water and air in this Chamber, where the air is pressed upwards, escapes through a turbine and therefore simultaneously produces energy continuously. According to the architects, the energy generated for the urban power grid.
Desalination turns sea water into potable water
At the end of the path reaches the visitors to the ball itself. In the lower third of reflective glass and in the upper part, whose surface consists of transparent and luminescent solar cells that provide energy, so that water can circulate inside the ball.
Seawater flows into the ball, evaporates and is collected as condensate. The resulting drinking water flows over a large cascading fountain below the ball directly in front of the eyes of visitors. 2.2 million liters of sea water could turn into potable water for the plants every year around.
Also an interesting project: in Rotterdam, the start-up wants to “floating farm” built an entire floating farm for dairy cattle. The 1200-square-meter pontoon 40 cows should live and cover a portion of fresh milk needs for the city.