Hurricane Prevention Pump

Minor Problems

Jess Ferreira

Today we ran into a few minor problems. Our first minor problem occurred in the morning. Last week we had cut out a circle to use as a valve but it did not cut all the way through because the plastic was too thick. There was a long line for the laser cutter because the other studio needed to use it as well; this delayed making the product.

Another problems we ran into was the box. The box was filled with water and the water was pushing the sides of the container; this was making the container crack a little bit. We needed to fill another type of container with water. This new container needed to be circular this would prevent the water from pushing hard against the sides. I ended up going to the store and buying a big trash can.

Since we changed the shape of the container filled with water, the base of our product did not fit (diameter wise). We drew a circle around the P.V.C. pipe and used a jigsaw to cut on the line. This was not perfectly circular but circular enough to work, balance in the water and fit in the trash can.

Experimenting With Different Shape Funnels

Jess Ferreira

This morning started with a lot of brainstorming. We drew a lot of diagrams and had to think about the how heavy the hot and cold water is. The warm water on top is light and the cold water on the bottom is heavy so in science terms it would be hard to push the heavy cold water down to circulate and mix together. Another thing that came up is “do we have to have a pump?” The goal of our project is to get rid of the hot spot, we might not have to pump, we could bring cold water and transport it to the hot spots but pressure (this would replace the pumping).

Just before lunch, we were talking with Giancarlo and we decided that we would go find different types of bottles that would be different shapes at the top. This would affect how the water came up when bobbing up and down in the ocean. We started by testing a PBC pipe and a funnel. We found 3 different types of bottles: Dole juice bottle (1); 2 liter soda bottle(2); and a Polar Orange Dry bottle (3). We also had a Polar sparking water bottle from yesterdays prototype (4). When we cut the ends up and tested these different bottles in water we came to the conclusion Polar bottle  (3) and the juice bottle  (1) were the best. The Polar bottle  (3) worked the best because it was thin and narrow, the juice bottle worked the best because there is a gradual incline to the top there is also a good portion of the top that is really narrow. In addition we added a piece of plastic on the top of the water bottle (4), this piece of plastic would guide the water to go to one side or another. By the end of the day we decided to focus on the water bottle (4) and the juice bottle (1)

Max found this video when researching, it is mostly about how Bill Gates wants to helps with the hurricanes. Some ideas in the video were to drag an iceberg in the hurricane's path to cool the water. Gates and scientists want to pump warm water down and cold water up. We do not know if this is realistic yet but it is being tested. They believe that physics is accurate but don’t know if when put to scale the pump/barge will function right.

Final Pump!

Klara Ingersoll

Our prototype is completed. The pump is working really well and the spray is consistent and equal on all sides thanks to our improved divertor. We are now finalizing our powerpoint and getting ready to present. I put together a short video of our pump working with a fully apropriate background song. Good job everyone.

Learning Vensim

Klara Ingersoll

This morning we learned the basics of Vensim, a program for visualising non-linear systems. We built test models, getting ready to eventually model our own projects and their causes and effects. These models show a bathtub's volume based on the faucet and drain rates.


Kate Reed

After a debate, our whole team is in agreement that bringing cold water up is more worthwhile than bringing hot water down, rather than the half and half group split up there was before. We are now working as a team to improve the pump concept and the prototypes.

Currently two of our team members are off on a quest to retrieve soda bottles with different funnel slopes and different size openings. Before experimenting on which bottle will work best, we get to drink the soda!


Klara Ingersoll

We worked on improving our design to speed up the pumping process. We are adding a piece that moves up and down somewhat below the bottle, with part of it inside the bottle. It is a pipe attached to a circular platform weighing down int the water and a float keeping it afloat. This will have a one way valve that opens when the water is coming up but closes when it is coming down only allowing the water to flow out. This moves on it's own SEPERATE to the bottle, forcing a whole lot more water out. 


Max Ingersoll

Yesterday we looked at Giancarlo's simulation that he made for our group. We found out some important things, for example before we looked at the simulation we thought that the most effective thing to do was pump the coldest water to the surface of the ocean, but the simulation showed that if the water is too cold (5ºC-20ºC) it will be to heavy and will fall right back from where it came from without doing any cooling. We dicovered found out that that the perfect temperature for the water is 21.5ºC because it is cold enough to cool the surface water but not so cold that it sinks so fast that it does no cooling. Another important discovery is that if the water is traveling less than 3 meters per second it will also sink and not spread over the surface.

Self Destruction!

Kate Reed

Yesterday we had our prototype working great, but as we continued to improve it today, it slowly started to self-destruct. It is a little frustrating, because when we start fixing one aspect of it, another falls apart.

Currently we have all the parts of the prototype, just not put together.  While half of the team puts the prototype back together, the other half is making a logo for our pump and working on the presentation.  I think our priority should be getting the prototype done. If we don't have a prototype built to present, the Powerpoint and logo will be useless.


New Prototype

Klara Ingersoll

Our last prototype was not very efficient because it didn't get enough of the surface water to flow through the tube into the lower layers of water. The transfer process was through a 1 inch long diameter pipe and was not effective enough. Additionally, the top foam-float cut out bowl shape which was to catch the surface water was not large enough. We drafted a new prototype conisiting of a wide cylindal shape made out of a foam float ring on top holding up a plastic bag with a wire aronund the bottom, to weigh it down. This would hopefully catch a lot more of the surface water which splashed into the device and replace it with cooler water. 

Research in numbers

Jess Ferreira

The morning started out with a lot of research. I had to find the answers to some questions that are essential for the powerpoint. Some of these questions were hard to answer because they were about the future and there isn’t a lot of information about it yet. Some of the information that was interesting to me was how much money the US has spent in the last decade due to hurricane damage.

In addition to do research the group had to work on putting the prototype together. This was the hardest part. The cone that was designed by Kate was too heavy and too big to work so we cut the tip off and use this instead to distribute the water. S

Some minor problems our group had was the foam was it kept snapping. We needed to cut foam that would fit around the P.V.C pipe. We needed to attach the foam to the side of the pipe because we had already glued the top and bottom to material. We needed to make sure that the foam was dense enough to keep the prototype up straight and balanced.