The SeaKettle is a life raft that combines safety, accessibility, and a desalination process. In an emergency at sea, you may not be able to obtain fresh drinking water before being forced to abandon ship. Passengers could easily die of thirst or from extreme temperatures before they are rescued or reach land. The SeaKettle solves these potential life threatening problems by providing both insulated, reliable shelter as well as fresh drinking water. The process, (see image 5), involves pumping sea water up to a Gortex covered reservoir, where the water is subject to evaporation. The evaporated water then hits the top canopy and condenses, filling the four pockets around the raft with fresh drinking water. The Gortex cover over the reservoir allows the vapor molecules to escape, but holds in the larger liquid molecules, preventing the pockets of fresh water from becoming contaminated by the sea water. This produces enough water for up to five passengers to stay sufficiently hydrated.
Inspiration for this project came from the many stories of people suffering from extreme dehydration or death while being stranded in a life raft at sea. With water all around, I thought, there's no way this should happen. There's got to be a way to turn the seemingly endless amount of ocean water into viable drinking water. So, that is what I set out to do. The desalination process used was inspired by the Watercone, a portable water desalination cone; a type of solar still.
The design process began by researching existing water desalination tools and methods as well as existing life rafts currently on the market. Sketching began with the goal of improving these existing products to create the ideal life raft that was equipped with all of the components necessary to keep passengers alive as long as possible while stranded at sea. From sketching, the development was continued in 3D form using Rhinoceros 3D modeling software. Here is where the design came to life and the ideal structure was formed.