You cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
- Albert Einstein -
We believe that everything can be better, not least the techniques and approaches used to provide coastal protection that have not fundamentally evolved or changed in hundreds of years, until now.
Through a relentless cycle of systematic improvements we are reinventing coastal protection from the ground up, driving improvements in every stage from surveying and modelling through to design and installation. Each time we seek to maximise the benefit from the energy and materials we use while reducing cost and environmental impact.
Coastal Impact - The reef attenuates wave energy, protecting the coastline behind it.
Reef Structure - The reef base structure consists of lightweight modular units that are stacked together.
Mineral Accretion - Calcium carbonate rock is grown around the base structure using electrolysis.
Renewable Energy - Energy from a range of sources can be aggregated to power the accretion.
Smart Power Management - We regulate and distribute the available energy across the reefs to optimise rock growth.
Corals - Divers attach corals grown in local hatcheries. Research shows these grow 2-3x faster than normal.
CCell Reefs mimic this behaviour, selectively reducing the power of large waves (which are typically bad for the shoreline), while letting smaller waves pass through unaffected (which are good and help build sand back onto the beach).
Our reefs are porous structures, which can further reduce energy in waves by inducing turbulence as they pass through.
Currently we use steel to define the initial shape of the reef, around which calcareous rock is grown. This rock is a perfect substrate for plants and coral to attach, which become an integral part of the structure. This approach allows us to minimise the amount of material we put into the ocean.
We use a modular design to ease transportation and installation, with units typically 2.5m long and up to 2m high, that can be stacked to accommodate to site bathymetry.
A safe low-voltage current is passed between a small metal anode and the steel structure. At the anode, oxygen is produced, which is beneficial for marine life. At the cathode (the main structure) the pH rises, inducing the precipitation of dissolved salts in seawater onto the structure.
CCell's patented wave paddle is a simple and sturdy design, inspired by nature, that extracts energy from ocean waves. The curve of our paddle is naturally strong and able to withstand extreme conditions, while the composite construction make the paddle ultra-light and durable. This device has the highest known power to weight ratio of any wave energy device.
Through minor adjustments during manufacture the unit can be optimised for the prevailing site conditions and is normally positioned adjacent to the growing reef.
The voltage applied to the reef structure is precisely controlled and centrally managed to ensure that every coulomb counts.
The Smart Power Management (SPM) continually optimises the power output, controlling the distribution of available renewable power across the reef. Through continual sensing of environmental conditions it helps the reef adapt to climate change.
Building on over 25 years of research, this process has been shown to accelerate coral growth: fragments of broken or farmed corals attached to the structure can grow faster than on natural reefs. This method of reef-creation has been applied to solve a wide variety of marine and coastal problems, including coral reef and fishery habitat restoration, shoreline protection, and erosion control measures.
Our partners at the Living Reefs Foundation have been researching the effects of our electrolysis technology on the growth of young corals, intending to optimise this process.