DNV unveils SUNdy floating solar field concept

 

Researchers at DNV have developed a dynamic floating offshore solar field concept. Dubbed SUNdy, the core feature of the concept is a hexagonal array which floats on the sea surface. A collection of these arrays, totaling 4,200 solar panels, forms a solar island the size of a large football stadium, capable of generating 2 MW of power. Multiple islands connected together make up a solar field of 50 MW or more, producing enough electricity for 30,000 people.

“The renewable energy market is rapidly changing due in main part to climate change, soaring global demand for electricity, and scarcity of fossil fuels. For DNV, technological innovation is a key element in our strategy to help address these concerns and SUNdy, as an example of our research work, can help illustrate future applications for solar as a truly sustainable resource,” said Chief Operational Officer for DNV KEMA Energy & Sustainability Asia, Bjørn Tore Markussen. “Indeed, renewable energy is becoming increasingly important in nations across the globe, including Asia, and with such a readily available and abundant source that is rapidly approaching grid parity levels, it’s solar power that’s attracting a lot of interest in this part of the world.”

The SUNdy concept is made possible using thin-film 560 W solar panels which are flexible and lighter than the traditional rigid glass-based modules, allowing them to undulate with the ocean’s surface.

“The key to creating an ocean-based structure of this size is the use of a tension-only design. Rather like a spider’s web, this dynamic, compliant structure yields to the waves, yet is capable of withstanding considerable external loads acting upon it,” said Managing Director of the DNV Clean Technology Centre in Singapore, Sanjay Kuttan.

 “The island has been optimised for solar capability and cabling efficiency,” adds Kevin Smith, Global Segment Director for DNV KEMA’s Renewable Energy Services. “The solar arrays are divided into electrical zones feeding electricity produced into two main switches collecting the power for voltage step up at a central transformer (2MVA 480/34.5kV). From the offshore solar farm’s central island, 30kV electrical transmission lines connect, tying other islands in series to form a close loop and continue to the electrical sub-station onshore for grid connection.”

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