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Hurricane Prevention Pump

Holocene 911* | Projects

  • 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.

  • Kate had designed a large cone shaped diverter, but when we tried pumping water with it attached not enough water got out and it was too heavy. We wanted to design a device that spread the water out equally when it exited the top. We cut off the bottom of the old diverter making a very small cone, which we attached to the top with a wire.

  • 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.

  • I worked on Adobe Illustrator to make a logo for our pump which we are calling PumpIT. We also worked on our presentation, adding images and simplyifying the slides.

  • 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.


  • 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.

  • Max & I stayed after school on Thursday and worked with Ammar to write a spreadsheet showing the actual numbers behind the pump. We thought of all the values we need to know and write to show our pump as an effective storm defuser. We came up with the different variables of: Number of pumps, area per pump, total area, desired temperature, diameter of pump, time (hours), current temperature, tempertaure of cold, waves/hour, total waves, amount of water/wave, height of wave, total volume of water, volume to cool, equilibrium tempertaure, radius (meters), and area. 

  • We have redesigned our pump yet again. We now have a much better sense of what we need to accomplish for our pump, after going through the simulations. Our design is now closer to our first design with all the one-way valves.  The tricky thing about our pump is we really want it to be wave powered. We are determined to make it wave powered.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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  • Climate change, caused by carbon emission into the atmosphere and a thickened ozone layer is warming the temperature of the globe. This is causing the ocean temperature to get warmer as well.

    Hurricanes are able to increase their intensity and become more damaging when they hover over hot spots in the ocean. If the ocean surface temperature is 25.6 degrees C than a hurricane can pick up wind speed and intensity. The worst hurricanes the U.S has experienced in the past century have been so bad because they picked up speed in the hot spots in the Gulf of Mexico.

    If we can cool these hot spots before hurricanes travels over them, hurricanes will lose speed/intensity as oppose to gaining it. This will prevent storms to reach a such high intensity, preventing billions of dollars lost in damage cost and save many lives.

    We started by researching hurricanes and determining our problem. We looked at the “Salters drain” that already existed, which moved cold water on top to the bottom. We then sketched multiple ideas for water movement, a drain and a pump. After making rough prototypes for each we settled on the pump idea because the drain was not efficient enough, and we didn’t even know if it was effective at all. Moving forward with the pump we started with a plastic bottle shape and then built off of that, adding a piston that moves up and down with a one way valve. We then added a divertor off the top to direct the water equally in all directions. We went through many prototypes because we struggled to get a prototype that would pump enough water.

    Giancarlo simulated some scenarios for us and we found out that the only way the pump would work is if we used water that was around 23.5°C and if we could get it to travel 2.5 feet per second or faster.

    We think that when this is put to scale this prototype will be successful. We can’t be one hundred percent sure because we did not have a way to simulate the waves how they appear in the ocean, but we are happy with the product that we made in the two week time span. We think that our general design can be applied to build a pump that would work on a full scale and reduce hurricane severity.