The SeeKuh is the central cleaning vessel of the “Maritime waste collection” and is used in coastal regions and estuaries. In 2016, SeeKuh I in Lübeck was completed and solemnly christened. In the meantime, she has had numerous missions in the Baltic Sea and in 2018 in Hong Kong.
The ship, also based on the catamaran shape, has a size of 12 x 10 meters. Between the two hulls are hung specially developed lowerable mesh constructions with meshes of 2.5 cm size. They collect the plastic waste up to a depth of 2 meters. Currently, up to two tons of garbage can be collected per trip or network.
SeeKuh I is the first seaworthy research, cleaning and reconnaissance vessel in the world to be approved by DNV / GL (a type of TÜV for ships). The special ship can be disassembled and stored in four 40-foot containers. This makes the SeeKuh extremely flexible and can be used worldwide. It is powered by two engines that are still conventional in the prototype. In the future, however, SeeKühe will be powered by solar or wind power.
With a speed of up to two knots, the SeeKuh travels practically at a pace on a collective journey. This is not only energy efficient, but also gives larger marine animals the opportunity to escape from the grid while smaller organisms pass through the netmeshes.
In addition to the collection of plastic waste, water analyses on board are another important aspect. On deck there is a small laboratory where water samples can be examined directly with an infrared spectrometer for plastic to find out what kind of plastic the SeeKuh collects.
Since 2019, a completely redesigned collection vessel has been built in Lübeck with the SeeKuh II. The collection system of the future SeeKuh is no longer based on removable nets, but on conveyor belt technology. The marine debris is directed to the conveyor belt attached in the middle via a signpost at the bow of the catamaran. The riser continuously conveys the material to a horizontal sorting tape. Anything that does not belong in the sea is manually sorted out by the sorting staff and collected in transport bags, so-called big bags. Safe organic waste falls back into the water at the end of the conveyor belt through an opening in the deck. As a result, oeoo is expected to be more efficient and at the same time it is possible to sort out organic material and, if necessary, animal by-catch.
The SeeKuh II is also modularly designed, so that dismantling and transport in sea containers to any place in the world is possible. The SeeKuh II will be 12 meters long, but two meters narrower than its sister. This means that it can even be stored in only 2-3 overseas containers. The draught is only 0.8 m, the weight is six tons. Their cleaning capacity is approx. 30,000 m2/h.
In order to be able to collect large areas effectively, oeoo has developed another collection technique for the SeeKuh II, a kind of towing network. Two motorized boats, e.g. local fishing vessels or conventional workboats, pull the SeeKuh II through the polluted operating area. Floating barriers are placed between the tugboats and the SeeKuh II. This creates a kind of funnel through which the marine litter is directed towards the conveyor belt of the SeeKuh II.
Tandem operation on both sides of the source of pollution can prevent the sea debris from being traversed and the resulting swirling of marine waste. In this variant, the SeeKuh II does not require its own drive.
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