FLOLONY, Float-On/Float-Off Colony, project: HOV/David Raponi
published in l'Arca International 173
FLOLONY is a changeable buoyancy floating housing unit, made up of a mobile naval architecture equipped with autonomous energy and developed on a geometry which enables the vessel to adapt to any marine conditions, even the extreme ones. The structure has a large surface in contact with the open space and the upper part, always out of water, is controlled by systems that can guarantee the maximum supply of vital elements (light and water), useful for the residential/productive metabolism of the colony.
As for the essential services for life the unit is autonomous and, according to its potential configurations and equipments, it can be independent (therefore with no need of external supplies) for periods varying from a few months to several years. Moving along marine routes within the temperate/equatorial zones and following the direction of the main streams, the colony maintains its energy balance using Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC), sun energy, wave power and the methods of collection and use of high temperature waters originating from deep thermal sources.
The structure is made of double and triple steel layers and aluminum. Its changeable buoyancy is regulated by compensation basins that permit a float-on/float-off range of about 36.5m. This allows it to face extreme marine conditions and, in the same way, to keep its buoyancy on the surface level when there are optimum marine conditions.
The unit is divided into 19 main decks and 10 secondary (or partial) decks, for a total amount of 29 levels. In the immersed section, besides the compensation basins, there are fish farming basins, habitats for farming products, systems for the collection and treatment of precipitations, a desalination plant, storages of potable water and fuel, emergency diesel/electric engine-generators, an electric propulsive system, a stock area for the converters of wave power, technical special areas, etc.
Accommodation units, cultural and entertaining spaces, schools, scientific and medical laboratories, pilot house areas, bridges, technical and navigation instruments, mechanical plants for air change/treatment, production workshops and laboratories, green areas, play and sport areas, etc. are situated in the changeable buoyancy section and in the emerging section.