coral reef cooling project employs heat-absorbant underwater structures made of hydrogel

coral reef cooling project employs heat-absorbant underwater structures made of hydrogel

Sunny Lustov’s ‘Nereids’ addresses ocean temperature rise

 

Sunny Lustov presents Nereids: Underwater Structures for Coral Reef Cooling, a project that intersects science and design to combat the pressing issue of ocean temperature escalation. Following careful programming of material responses, the designer fabricates autonomous, plant-like structures programmed to counter warming threats on coral reefs. Crafted from a thermoresponsive biocompatible hydrogel called ‘NIPA’, the underwater structures autonomously cool at-risk coral areas. Serving as protective sanctuaries, Nereids can fuse with their environment, safeguarding coral ecosystems effectively and enduringly.

coral reef cooling project employs heat-absorbant underwater structures made of hydrogel
film still from ‘Nereids by Sunny Lustov’ | all images courtesy of Sunny Lustov

 

 

shape-morphing underwater structures form cooling vessels

 

The underwater formations leverage the intrinsic qualities of their materials. Composed of NIPA gel, these structures engage a phase change process akin to ice, absorbing heat, and undergoing whitening and shrinkage. Unlike ice, NIPA gel maintains its form as a coherent sheet post-transition. This feature enables repeated activation for heat absorption with minor temperature shifts. This phase change enables the Nereids to synergistically employ two cooling mechanisms. Firstly, the gel itself cools, each gram of NIPA can cool 10 grams of water by up to 1 degree Celsius. Secondly, leveraging the gel’s transformative nature, the designer fabricates structures that can fold and encapsulate water within the gel sheets during each phase change, augmenting cooling potential via responsive geometry. While open in normal temperatures, the formations contract and fold during heat, forming a cooling vessel that stabilizes temperatures over extended periods.

coral reef cooling project employs heat-absorbant underwater structures made of hydrogel
the plant-like structures are programmed to counter warming threats on coral reefs

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5x5fGWGblM

nereids-underwater-structures-coral-reef-cooling-sunny-lustov-designboom-1800-3

NIPA gel exhibits repeated phase changes, transitioning between cooler and higher temperatures

coral reef cooling project employs heat-absorbant underwater structures made of hydrogel
the design process aims for an optimal base unit, meticulously tailored to bring the nereid into being

nereids-underwater-structures-coral-reef-cooling-sunny-lustov-designboom-1800-2

the Nereids synergistically employ two cooling mechanisms

coral reef cooling project employs heat-absorbant underwater structures made of hydrogel
the Nereids, installed in hot ocean currents paths, form underwater forests that provide local cooling of hot streams

 

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careful deliberation was given to the possible performances of various optional base units when subjected to water
careful deliberation was given to the possible performances of various optional base units when subjected to water
the selected optimal base units were designed to be assembled one on top of the other, increasing the number of cooling vessels formed
the selected optimal base units were designed to be assembled one on top of the other, increasing the number of cooling vessels formed
the design took advantage of the inherent heat-absorbing property of the NIPA gel amplifying the cooling effect
the design took advantage of the inherent heat-absorbing property of the NIPA gel amplifying the cooling effect
each Nereid can be anchored to the ocean floor using conventional ecological mooring methods
each Nereid can be anchored to the ocean floor using conventional ecological mooring methods
the project intersects science and design to combat the pressing issue of ocean temperature escalation
the project intersects science and design to combat the pressing issue of ocean temperature escalation

project info:

 

name: Nereids: Underwater structures for coral reef cooling
designer: Sunny Lustov

 

 

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: christina vergopoulou | designboom

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