h a l f b a k e r y
The embarrassing drunkard uncle of invention.
add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random
news, help, about, links, report a problem
or get an account
Large inverted umbrella collects offshore rainwater
Beginning with enormous fabric that is about the size of
bunch of hot air balloons, the fabric is stitched together
and a liquid repellent nano-coating is applied. The fabric
is tethered to a structure similar to an umbrella to hoist
the fabric above tides while a chute is connected in the
center to allow the water to collect.
The structure does not interrupt waterways as it is able
converge vertically when no rain is in sight to protect the
elements. There is also a ballast that pumps out
as rainwater collects offsetting the buoyancy so that it
be relocated to optimize rainwater collection. It can
be anchored and towed or fit with its own propeller and
navigation system guided by GPS.
The rainwater can be extracted either by connecting a
pipeline for uninterrupted usage and stowed on a vessel
then emptied into a reservoir and used for crops, etc.
||Yes but... how much rain will it collect? 100 acres is
a lot of fabric, yet the same amount of rain falling
on the land is collected conveniently by rivers or
works its way into groundwater.
||If rain falls equally on land and sea (and I have no
idea whether it does or not), then shirley the
umbrellas would have to have a total surface area of
at least a few percent that of the country they
supply, to have any real impact?
||This sounds way too expensive. You'd be better off floating it on the sea.
||Picture a layer of plastic, above which is a layer of bubble wrap, the two separated around the edge by an inflatable ring - like a vast version of an emergency life-raft. The bubble wrap floats on the fresh water (to reduce evaporation), and the whole thing floats on the sea (conveniently exploiting the lower density of fresh water). One or more holes (possibly weighted to form a local depression) allow rain to enter.
||//Picture a layer of plastic, above which is a layer of
||What??? What a dismal thing to picture - may I
recommend an alternative? Picture instead a steep
hillside dotted with olive trees, swooping gracefully
down to a timeless and secluded bay, where azure
waters lap gently on white sands, as a barnacle-
encrusted piece of grey-brown driftwood ebbs and
flows with the waves.
||Damn, I'm getting a new guru.
||The collected rainwater would still be contaminated with
salt spray; not much, but probably enough to make it
impotable. That's one reason why oceangoing vessels have
always required covered cisterns. The other is evaporation,
which would also lessen effeciency to a fair degree.
||What I'm picturing is a semi-submerged, tangled and torn mass of plastic along with the crumpled remnants of support structures all being pounded against a rocky shoreline somewhere after the first big storm. The ocean is a harsh mistress, my friend.
||A very realistic assesment. My own troubleshooting was
based on the assumption of calm seas and favorable
weather--a risky assumption, at best.