How much progress on the Manta Project?
14 March 2022
45,000 hours of study and development committed since 2018 on MANTA, what does that mean in concrete terms? We tell you all about the latest advances of the giant ocean cleaner. Welcome behind the scenes!
More than 60 engineers mobilized. 20 leading companies involved. 5 research laboratories at work… In January 2021, we introduced you to the new design of MANTA, the result of extensive work to optimize its performance in collecting floating waste, to make it a cutting-edge scientific research tool, to reduce its environmental footprint and to push its energy autonomy to the maximum. In other words: a ship that cleans up the oceans, that is also a model of a ‘green ship’ and a ‘smart ship’, and contributes to global knowledge.
Fourteen months later, where are we in the technological development of this giant of the sea, a concentrate of technology and ecology? Has the challenge been met? We tell you more about the major steps taken by our teams in the last few months.
- The masses and dimensions of the ship have been technically validated, as well as the (long) list of all the onboard equipment. And yes! We can confirm that the MANTA will be 56 meters long, 26 meters wide and 62 meters high, and that it will carry out 4 missions at the same time: waste collection and recovery, scientific research, education and technology demonstration!
- A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the ship was conducted, in parallel with an economic and environmental optimization study, to make MANTA the most environmentally friendly ship possible.
- The locations and sizes of the scientific containers and storage containers (large waste and hazardous waste) have been decided.
- The Concept Design of MANTA has been finalized.
WECU PROJECT (Waste-to-Energy-Conversion Unit)
- We have conducted several studies and test benches to select the most efficient and virtuous waste conversion technologies for the WECU, the heart of MANTA.
NAVTRA PROJECT (Workboats)
- We have built and launched the MOBULA 8, a small multi-purpose clean-up boat, a satellite of the MANTA (embarked in its rafts), designed for calm waters. It is now operational and on its way to its first clean-up missions in Indonesia.
SCOMER PROJECT (Sea Collection Systems)
- The surface collection systems have been tested on a 1:4 scale to improve their collection performance.
- The technology of the collection mats has also been developed thanks to our test boat, the Cleaners Lab, which allows us to make progress on the choice and the dimensioning of the systems which will be installed on the MANTA.
AACWA Project (All Aboard to Collect Waste)
- We are conducting the first studies on the characterization of the waste slicks and the identification of the waste, in order to understand exactly what we are going to collect, what type of plastic, in what state of degradation, etc. This is done in order to adapt our collection and recovery tools.
- With our partners, we are developing waste drift prediction models to understand how slicks evolve in water and thus define the best collection routes for MANTA.
- We are also testing waste recognition systems using sonar and Artificial Intelligence.
- We proceeded to comparative tests on two models of rigs, from prototypes at the scale 1:6e and carried out the integration tests of the selected model.
- We selected the technologies for the hydro-generators and wind turbines, two of the three renewable energy production systems on board the MANTA, and validated the integration specifications of the two systems.
- We designed the 500 m² solar panel plant and validated its integration specifications.
- We finalized the system for maximizing the recovery of waste heat from the waste-to-energy unit, and optimized the electrical architecture and thermal network of the ship. On board of the MANTA, nothing is lost, everything is transformed!
SEGE PROJECT (Embedded Energy Management System)
- We have optimized the management of energy on board and the management of propulsion modes.
- We’re developing with our partners OBEO, EFINOR, Cap Gemini Engineering, LS2N, SDI and la Région Bretagne, an eco-design tool for shipbuilding. In other words, a software allowing to build boats ecologically and to share the know-how we have accumulated in this field!
AND THE WORK CONTINUES!
The next steps, which will be carried out with the support of our naval architect partner LMG Marin, will be just as crucial:
- In a few weeks, we will release the consultation specifications, i.e. the document given to the shipyards, including more than 50 plans, the complete list of all the equipment of the MANTA, their systems and their layout, so that the shipyards can make a commercial offer for the realization.
- We will conduct additional tank tests for the hulls and propulsion systems.