Scientist trial thin-film floating solar system for offshore applications

Nov 29, 2021 03:46 PM ET
  • The financial stability of releasing thin-film floating planetary systems at offshore places is being explored by a new joint research in the Netherlands.
Scientist trial thin-film floating solar system for offshore applications
Image: Wim Soppe

A pilot system has been mounted at a lake near Rotterdam by a consortium led by study organisation TNO, which will certainly also consider the energy return of the flexible photovoltaic panels, the behavior of the floating units when faced with waves and solid winds, and the growth of natural product on the units.

The Solar@Sea II project includes two floats determining 7 × 13 metres covered by 20kWp of solar modules, with both the panels and floats constructed from an adaptable product created by the consortium.

The system was made so that the floats and also panels offer less resistance to waves, meaning the floats as well as the anchoring can be lighter and therefore be generated much more cheaply than with inflexible floats, according to TNO.

Due to run until summertime 2022, the pilot project has safeguarded an aid from the Netherlands' Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Change.

Wim Soppe, scientist at TNO as well as supervisor of the Solar@Sea II project, claimed it is practically really challenging to mount big floating systems with photovoltaic panels mixed-up and also maintain them functional for decades.

"On top of that, as a result of the expense of material used for heavy, stiff floats, it is often challenging to make these systems financially feasible. This new concept requires a whole lot less product and we consequently have high hopes that it will certainly become a whole lot less costly," he said.

After finishing this project, the next action is to construct as well as install a floating system on the North Sea. TNO claimed the goal is to deploy a business system of 1-5MWp around 2024 that can be colocated with North Sea wind parks.

The Netherlands already includes an offshore floating solar plant from Oceans of Energy, while energy company Equinor earlier this year disclosed plans to examine a pilot floating PV plant in rough waters off the coastline of Norway with a collaboration with engineering company Moss Maritime.

Somewhere else, a consortium including Ocean Sunlight as well as Fred Olsen Renewables received European Union funding for a 250kWp floating solar pilot project off the coastline of the Canary Islands that is being utilized to discover the technology's performance in tough sea conditions.

A host of inland floating PV plants have actually currently been deployed in the Netherlands by developer BayWa r.e., which previously this year appointed two plants amounting to 71MWp at sand removal lakes, while energy RWE is aiming to finish a 6.1 MWp floating solar project in the nation by the end of 2021.

Solar Installers, Manufacturers