Powering Places






Dylan Tiss, Ben Llewellyn, and Kyle Pollack



Tidal 94

Inspired by the form of a water droplet and designed for efficiency, Tidal 94 represents a beautiful convergence of form and function. These drops in the ocean off the Santa Monica Pier represent a revolution in water production. If enough drops fall along the coastline, they could floor Southern California with fresh water!

Conventional technologies to create fresh drinking water from seawater are prohibitively energy-intensive and damaging to surrounding ecosystems.

Powered by the gravitational pull of the Moon and focused solar heat, Tidal 94 separates seawater into fresh drinking water and crystallized sea salt. The localization of the system engages the public in the spectacle of infrastructure and lowers the environmental footprint of water production.

The tidal pump and cylinder system act as a large syringe. When the tide goes out and the floats drop, suction is created in the cylinders on the deck. This suction pulls water from the sub-sand seawater intake to fill the cylinders until the tide slacks. As the tide comes in, pressure is reacted as the ocean pushes up on the large buoyant floats. This immense pressure forces the water that has filled the cylinders through a reverse osmosis filtration system. The resulting fresh water is directed toward the storage tank. The force utilized in this system is slow, methodical, and incredibly powerful.

One negative externality of modern desalination plants is the disposal of the high salt brine, which can result in the destruction of marine ecosystems. Rather than disposing of excess salt brine into the sea, Tidal 94 harvest sea salt from the ocean. The salty brine that results from the reverse osmosis process is directed to the evaporation tents, filling a large shallow dish. Fresnel lens focus the suns’ rays throughout the day to heat the brine and bring it to a boil. Salt is left in the dish while water vapor condenses and collects.

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