Our cleanup system design is very different from existing structures, and available data is therefore limited. With further testing and research, we discovered that the wind and wave drift loads on the floater were higher than previously estimated. This caused the system to travel at a speed that would be too fast to catch the plastic and the plastic would hit the outside of the system rather than the inside. Due to these higher wave drift loads, the drift anchor would have to be unrealistically large for the system to move slower than the surface current.
We decided to use these forces to our advantage, by removing the anchors and let the system travel towards the plastic, at a faster speed than the plastic, which also creates a more efficient capture rate. In this new configuration, the screen and floater are shaped such that the system automatically orients the outside of the U-shape towards the incoming wind – using the wind, wave, and current forces. Because the plastic is primarily moved by the currents only, it will move at a slower rate and can then be contained in the U-shaped system.