The sheer size of the oceans alone speaks for the potential of maritime Transformable Area Systems (TASs). The full potential of water bodies, areas and water is crucial.
In this post, overarching advantages and use cases provided by maritime TASs are described. Essentials and relevant basics are described as well. Further advantages and use cases can be generated through the combination of the following points. This shows the magnitude of TASs in terms of potential. Even though the author works with the maritime TAS Bluefield since 2008, TASs are still at their beginning.
- Use of the characteristics/properties and capabilities of water and waters, e.g. agility, advanced flexibility, transformability, movement, lifting and inclination adjustment of areas, objects and structures such as wind turbines, photovoltaic and solar thermal systems (consider also buoyancy forces)
- Agility, transformability, flexibility, multi-use and synergies potential are increased, very high, and can be retained (consider the potential of oceans, other water bodies and areas, and water): a large number of improved and new uses with new levels of performance and potential, combinations of these uses, and synergies, e.g. factories for food, clothing and other consumer goods, production networks with real lean supplier integration (and high transformability and agility), cities, small and large solar and wind farms, tidal power plants etc. (with advantages through increased mobility etc.), and much more.
- Efficiency can be retained, because effective arrangement and linking of areas, objects and structures can be retained through transformations that occur in the light of increased transformability; TASs lift transformability up to a new level, and the extent to which areas, objects and structures can be transformed, and TASs make other structures transformable, e.g. rigid ones. Furthermore, agility is possible.
- From a philosophical viewpoint, TAS-based structures are even flexible. Structures cannot be flexible against the backdrop of the definition of transformability and flexibility of structures in factory planning (therefore ‘philosophical’ viewpoint).
- Future viability: New levels of effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability can be achieved at the same time; humankind can achieve a so far unknown efficiency-sustainability level, as these can occur together, and can be retained. One outcome is reduced environmental impact, while productivity is increased.
Efficient processes can be achieved and retained throughout factory lifecycles, city lifecycles, and lifecycles of other structures and uses, and their combination(s). Thus, lifecycles are flexible and sustainable, and characterised by high operational, energy and resource efficiency, e.g. due to less waste of resources because of reuse and fewer demolitions of usable structures, and less traffic and traffic diversions during transformations/construction works and operations.
Continuous destruction of usable structures and tremendous waste of energy and resources can have an end. Sustainable industrial and other structures with fewer demolitions, reconstructions and new constructions can be achieved. It is even possible to avoid demolitions of usable structures.
Today, configurations of structures exclude one another to a certain extent which leads to demolitions, reconstructions and new constructions, substitution processes, other difficulty factors and several (quasi non-sense) intermediate configurations that are necessary before the aimed for configuration can be achieved. Thus, numerous of today’s factories are characterised by decades of demolitions, reconstructions and new constructions of which many are necessary in the case of today’s factories, but not sensible (consider that factories can be more than 100 years old, and that they have similarities with organisms and organic structures).
Withing the time required to transform a today’s factory, a TAS-based factory can be transformed several times and/or the time used for operation, which is always efficient.
- Reduction of overcapacities, and required energy and resources (e.g. through increased transformability, reuse and sharing): Overcapacities are not and/or less required, and areas, objects and structures can be better transformed and developed as required, e.g. required capacities increased (consider, for example, modular power plants that can be extended stepwise; quasi in the same way as the sound volume of an audio player can be increased with its volume control).
In sum, fewer areas, objects and structures are required. The larger a structure (e.g. a factory or a production network), the fewer areas are (in relative terms) required in sum, e.g. as more synergies can be utilized. Furthermore, compared to one larger increase, to increase an object five times, e.g. by 10 %, is generally more expensive and requires more effort.
- TASs open the door to improved and new models, concepts and uses, e.g. cooperation models, maritime uses/purposes, energy generation concepts, concepts of transportation infrastructures and systems, concepts of supply and disposal infrastructures, plants, facilities and systems, concepts for the cooling of structures/uses, and concepts of machines, production plants, facilities and systems. Advanced raw material production and processing, for instance, are possible (consider also new forms of production networks), and TASs can also be used as logistics and storage areas and spaces; this increases the capabilities of systems, facilities etc., e.g. logistics systems and warehouses. Much more is possible.
- Advanced sharing, rental, exchange, maintenance and service possibilities: Improved and new models, concepts and uses are possible. Dynamic uses, use cases, and consumption models are possible.
TAS-based sharing framework: Based on TASs, a transformable framework for different purposes can be provided, i.e. a transformable framework for sharing common services is feasible. This framework can be retained and/or adapted, and consist of supply and disposal facilities, plants and infrastructures, and transportation infrastructures as basic elements for changing uses/purposes, e.g. a scalable power plant with roads. This framework provides the transformable basis for different uses that follow a ‘plug-and-use’-principle, e.g. the plug-and-produce-principle. Thus, the joint (e.g. successive) use of superordinate structures through single uses and their combination(s) is possible (single uses can be individual and/or equal). Structures for the production of cars are plugged in today, and structures for the production of food are plugged in tomorrow instead or in addition, and furthermore together with other structures such as wind farms etc., as required.
- Increased and new reuse, repair, refurbishment, modernisation and upgrading potential
- Different forms of TASs, TAS-based uses and their combination(s) can be implemented, e.g. small, large, low-cost and/or high tech.
- Increased and new forms and dimensions of areas, objects and structures (also products) are possible, and much increased masses. This can lead to advantages in terms of experiments, measurements etc. Furthermore, structures (e.g. single parts) can be directly produced, assembled and placed on TASs (consider new production and logistics possibilities, and fewer and erased restrictions). Wind farms can experience advantages too, the same as other structures and uses. Much more than that is possible.
Area, object and structure dimension changes (e.g. product dimension change) are simplified, and their potential increased. Scalability and scalable mobility of areas, objects and structures are enabled. New models, concepts and uses, movable area, object and structure sizes, movable areas, substructures and superstructures, movable shapes, movable area characteristics, and the combinability with scalability and pluggability, and other enablers and accelerators must be considered.
- Improved and new logistics, transport and conveyor models and concepts can be developed, also in the context of production, e.g. production lines and cells. New logistics possibilities are one outcome, e.g. mobile warehouses that can be moved and relocated.
- More technical, automated, autonomous and self-sufficient solutions and processes are possible, and their potential is increased.
- Structures and individuals can move to defined locations considering various circumstances and conditions in order to optimise diverse factors/variables, e.g. distances. The potential behind this is increased. Production networks with integrated supply chains are an example. Much more is possible.
- TASs support the change from passive into active and intelligent structures (e.g. infrastructures), and their management.
- Low total cost of ownership (TCO) and high cost-saving potential (consider that transformations are not as costly, effortful and time-consuming as in the case of terrestrial area-based uses; implementations and transformations of TAS-based uses are simplified, and can occur more rapid; when TASs become serial products, implementations will also be less expensive)
- Fewer bound investments
- Position and location changes of structures and uses are simplified, e.g. of factories and production networks.
- Much decreased time to market due to simpler and more rapid planning, implementation and transformation(s). Enablers and accelerators are crucial. The impact on (factory) planning processes, implementation and transformation velocity, and factory characteristics and capabilities throughout factory lifecycles and lifecycles of other structures/uses etc. is considerable. Furthermore, requirements and processes are better definable; budgets and time schedules can be kept (e.g. because transformations and growth are simplified).
- Water access
- Numerous improved and new maritime and other water-related uses, e.g. breakwaters
- Increased cooling possibilities: a large part of the world’s energy is used for the cooling of computer/data centres; these could be integrated in wind power plants and/or other structures, e.g. in maritime structures below water.
- Food, supply and care potential are advanced: advanced watering, storage etc. of plants (e.g. at different positions and locations and under different circumstances; consider different conditions throughout day times and seasons), new potential in terms of drinking water, and much more
- Green energy for the world: The implementation of comprehensive green energy generation (i.e. conversion) for the world population etc. is possible and highly simplified. Improved and new options for energy generation and storage are possible, e.g. increased mobility and size with regard to solar energy, and windmills that can be moved, lifted, turned and inclined in order to increase effectiveness and efficiency. The use of wind, water, sun, forces, solids etc. for energy generation, and direct energy use without energy loss through energy transport are possible. Furthermore, advantages in terms of voltage level are possible, e.g. energy generation at different voltage levels. TAS and other floating elements can also be used as a swarm in storms, hurricanes etc. for energy generation and storage. ‘TAS Energy One’ is a concept with integrated energy generation and storage facilities, tapered at the front, and the back. Also due to scalability, large structures can be sent out. The dimensions of oceans must be considered, the same as energy potential that can be stored, and required energy for movement.
- Increased energy and resource efficiency, e.g. through close linking between energy, media, supplies/suppliers and consumers/users/uses; energy and resources can be saved and furthermore better exploited
- Flatness is possible over a large area.
- TASs are the key to the 4th IR, e.g. in the form of fractals, holonic and/or bionic manufacturing (consider uses that behave like organisms and/or organic structures, and also breathing uses). Heterogeneous transformations and growth, and growth of areas, objects and structures out of themselves are simplified.
- Plug-and-produce, plug-and-use, digitalisation, AI and Industry 4.0 compatibility (and readiness if we develop TASs further), and their potential increases with TASs, and vice versa; cyber-organic structures (COSs) are possible.
Several of these advantages were described by Vejn Sredic in previous works, e.g. in works from 2006, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2018, 2020 and 2021. It is important to acknowledge that many other people work with floating structures and that some sources are over a hundred years old. Furthermore, there are many people who sacrifice themselves for research and the advancement of humankind.
As a self-funded independent researcher, it is not always easy to produce work. Above all, it costs a lot of time. Vejn Sredic considers floating structures and TASs mainly in the light of industry, production networks/supply chains, factories and factory planning. Many works from other authors exist, that are of high relevance. The works of Faltinsen, Lim, Scanlan, Wang, and many other people are crucial for the further development of floating structures and TASs.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution can only be achieved together, and floating structures such as maritime TASs will play the key role in this revolution.