Everything submersible is expensive and complicated - really? | oceanic business alliance

(Wilfried Ellmer) #1

Everything submersible is expensive and complicated - really ?

  • engineering for hydrostatic pressure is easier than engineering for wave impact | draupner |
  • tubular structures, dome and sphere shells, are among the most efficient and economic structures to enclose living space. | rion - antirion pylon |
  • the watersurface is “specially suited to build round sphere buildings” - it will open a new type of construction technology.
  • cost analysis and drivers land vs sea | analysis here |
  • Ben Franklin a submerged houseboat drifting in the ocean current crossing the atlantic in 4 weeks.

As the world becomes more and more ocean oriented it was predicted that the 21st centruy will see more construction activity on the ocean than on land… (Metha)

"Ellmer Sphere" Ocean Sphere | oceanic business alliance
WAVE-E "Wave Breaker" Contest
(.) #2

Am I still here?
Is there an echo in here? Is there an echo in here?


Well, IMHO: That statement isn’t quite the right one. Perhaps instead ask some related questions:

(A) Why is it currently so expensive to make durable, air/watertight structures?

(B) Are there materials and processes that can bring the cost of such structures down – if so, what are those materials and processes?

Re (A): Ocean waves and currents are strong, especially in heavy sea states. So oceangoing structures must be very sturdy and durable, or must be sufficiently mobile that they can shelter during storms.

Re (B): There are a lot of possibilities, both with existing materials and new ones (e.g. geopolymers), but until those are out of the labs and acceptable by the insurance/classification/registry authorities, it sure looks to me that we’re going to have difficulties getting them built, into the water, and allowed to stay in national waters/EEZones, etc.

Personally, I’d like to see if I can use recycled materials (e.g. plastics and glass), but that’s an early concept, far from seaworthy.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #4

I would take this as a “erroneus scholastic postulate” that does not stand up to deeper scrutiny. It is well known that i built a hull the size of a 68 squaremeter apartment on a 70 K budget - successfully. This “oceanic housing space bubble” is worldwide mobile, draupner safe, keeps the coffee cup on the table, and comfort intact in a hurricane, with no breakwater protection need, and can be built to any size the owner wants with a live expectancy of “centuries”.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #5

check here / heavy, medium, light, tubular, sphere…cost per squaremeter…cost drivers.

(stephen russell) #6

Cant we use off the shelf materials & basic science to build Seasteads or coastal variants for.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #7

I would like to postulate that a floating city will be built of no other material than a land city. (concrete).

Concrete is a composite material consisting in 3 base elements | bonder (cement) | fillers (sand gravel) | fiber (rebar) | in “intelligent combination” to get the material properties required. The natural starting point is “land based concrete engineering” - but it is well known that this “code driven” engineering is just the tip of an iceberg of possiblilities.
Basalt rebar, polymer cements, glass sphere, plastic fibers and filler have been mentioned. What is next to come up in the sense of “oceanic concrete engineering” is naturally just a “small evolutionary step” beyond what is “off the shelf concrete engineering” on land and in the ocean now. (submarine tunnels, superspan bridges, floating oil installations).


IMHO, the next step is to finally start building permanent, seaworthy residences, permanent moorings and just get started. There is no need to reengineer much of anything.

As for submersibles and semi-submersibles being expensive and complex, currently, that, as pointed out, is a matter of engineering and materials selection.

Geopolymers may, or may not be a significant part of the solution. right now, they’re the current leader in preferable properties, with OPC running a distant 2nd-place.

That said, the only current, intentional, seaworthy structure we know of, being built, even as we discuss everything else, is being made of steel and plastic, so far. Kathy just finished a 4ft X 2ft X 16ft steel flotation chamber, yesterday. It is waiting for paint, while she continues with other portions of her project. In the end, her project is a variant of the semi-submersible platform, with submerged, variable capacity flotation chambers, thin spar legs and an elevated platform, and should be capable of handling 20ft seas.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #9

Monaco Breakwater - a parking lot submerged - cars park - 15 m underwater… enormous building size floating structures are in “dayly use” and “off the shelf engineering” as we speak … the ocean sphere - a hurricane and draupner proof open ocean concept, is just a step beyond this…and certainly not more expensive and not more complicated…at all.

submersible houseboat drifting over the atlantic underwater with the gulf stream…question the surface float paradigma


I think you should go fishing… Not being crass, just so you can make a real-world observation.

Use the largest round bobber you can find. Now, run a line down from that bobber and start adding weights until you get that 2/3s submerged, like your illustration, then watch how it behaves in the waves. Watch, particularly, how the stem moves. It will tend to rotate and wobble around an off-center point, just as the earth does. part of that is due to the different layers of wave action, working on the surface. I do not have the science behind it, but I have been fishing, off and on, for some 45+ years, and am offering an observation, that I’ve noticed, ever since I was a little boy, learning to fish, on a river-bank, beside my granddad.

Part of the significance of the line and weight is stability, including the same stability of depth of structure, at least to some limited degree, but that wobble and rotation are going to be a problem. You’ll be closer to your solution, when you can eliminate that wobble. Part of the solution is to use some ballast in the base of the sphere, with the rest suspended beneath, just like a hook and sinker, for fishing., but using a partially weighted bobber.

If there’s an issue with heaving, you can add heave-plates. I hope that helps, at least toward some real-world experimentation. Heck, load a beach-ball with the equivalent ballast, of sand. Ball has x amount of buoyancy, sand weighs y. Bigger the demo, the better, just maintain your preferred 2/3-3/4 submerged attitude, and see what you can adjust, to make it work…

IMHO, the spherical floating city isn’t going to work, but that’s my opinion. I’ll leave it at that, until proven, one way or the other.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #11

have been there have done that - in large scale…( http://concretesubmarine.com )…no mystery for me anymore…the guy on top of those blimps is me. - 20 years ago…check @nautilusmaker...


not a sphere. The subs have longitudinal stability, that the sphere does not have. it may be stable enough to stand on, but the wobble of a sphere may be enough to render it uninhabitable, due to motion-sickness. Consider, the wobble will tend to rotate in one direction, while physics dictates that the sphere will rotate with a countering motion, equal and opposite, so you’ll be swaying around one direction and pivoting in the opposite direction, at the same time. it may not be a problem, at a large enough scale, but, then again, it may render the place uninhabitable. we don’t notice it at planetary scale, simply because we’re too far from the centers of rotation.

this is similar to the effect seen as FLIP is raised, and explained in at least one of the videos, where as the tip increases velocity upward, the vessel, also round, spins in the opposite direction.

Great for a thrill-ride, not so great for a long-term visit.

Now, admittedly, the flip is moving through a greater arc, and then stabilizes, once it has spent the momentum in friction, but it also has considerably less wave interaction area than your city-sphere concept, while the sphere has no counter-rotational stabilizers, as proposed. I would suggest, at the minimum, creating some sort of vertical fin, to reduce the rotation, thus countering the wobble, at the same time.

i just see a potential problem that I think should probably be explored more thoroughly, based on real-world observations, and physics.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #13

.…not a concern anymore... have been there… have tested that…

in real life… in real scale…with real material…20 years ago… this is the prototype (early nightees) - today i am working on a scale 10 times bigger…

(200 tons 68 squaremeter apartment size equivalent) i am ready to size up another factor 10… to city block sized ocean spheres/blimps anything goes - No problem for me - proven technology - homework done - no need to send me “doing homework” … i have a grip on this - obviously - my physics is obviously ok.

The interesting question is : what comes now ? - floating bars, shopping centers, subude to nobody nemo submarines, oceanic server centers, worldwide mobile salvage solutions, submerged billionair palace…contact me to get involved. (also check matias volco designs to see what we are working on…)

Video of the black blimp hull inside walktrough…man (Alvaro Figueroa) comming in trough the top hatch and walking through the hull - Wilfried Ellmer filming…


Well, Hells Bells, jump on outside and get started… When you have a problem, holler.

As I Stated, those submarines are not spheres

Meanwhile, it appears you have purposely turned this thread into a pitch for your website, which was probably your entire purpose for starting this thread.

I am already stuck, an unwilling member, without the ability to close my account, on your bogus website, where you attacked the very idea that you suggested I join for, then promptly began begging for money that you know I don’t have to spare.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #15

not going to be dragged into that kind of “debate quality” … anything qualified to say that forments quality debate and widens the info base for the auditorium? - if not go away and play somewhere else.… i opened the “Everything submersible is expensive and complicated - really? - thread” for informed posting please stick to it.

San Jose found - 1000 more sunken galleons out there | oceanic business alliance

You are more than welcome to demonstrate the physics of how you have solved the physics issue, previously described, involving a sphere, which you promptly ignored. Please show the mathematics, so that it can be further examined. Short of that, I feel your blatant editing and misquote to be toodling, repetitious of your pattern and boorish.

Please refer to:This thread, for further descriptive advice

(Wilfried Ellmer) #17

The movement of structures in wave ambients are complicated to handle in theory and easy to show in tank experiments.
You can do the basics in your bathtube - but you need to get the scale between the ballasted sphere and the waves right to get a “correct idea what is happening” from what you said above (and repeate below) i extract that you have currently a “non correct idea”…
As i said - i am “beyond modelling” and have built and tested real world scaled things in this field for a long long time…so it would probably be a good idea to just “listen to the expert” - but a “qualified experiment” in your bathtube can also give you a general picture.


Quite charming attempt, when you, obviously failed to listen to the experts from the Scripps Institute, and claimed such expertise, based on something that does not have the shape of the object described, for the motions observed and described.

Please, Professor, by all means, enlighten us to the location of the video lesson, where you demonstrate this superiority over physics, involving the actual motion of a sphere, floating in water.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #19

it is about a “ballasted sphere with a deep metacenter” - that is VERY different … test it in your bathtube you will see. Physics start here


Excuse me? I described the motion observed, of a ballasted, floating, spherical bobber, to include one internally weighted, externally weighted, and a third combination of the two. Just where have you managed to overcome physics and prevent the natural motion of such an object? Please demonstrate.