Harnessing Solar Power: Exploring Offshore Photovoltaic Modular Platforms

Greetings, solar enthusiasts! In today’s blog post, we are going to delve deeper into the latest advancements in floating photovoltaics for offshore use. This exciting sector of solar technology is rapidly evolving and requires a precise set of skills to master.

When it comes to floating photovoltaics (FPVs), practicality, stability, and efficiency are paramount, and all three of these key factors are influenced by the size and number of platforms, as well as the types of connections between platforms. Of course, these factors also impact the robustness of these solar systems, so optimizing them is critical to achieving high efficiency.

If you’re not familiar with FPVs, they are essentially a complex multi-body system that operates under the coupling action of wind, wave, current, and other multi-physical fields. This makes it essential for solar companies to incorporate robust engineering methodologies and models while designing FPVs meant for offshore environments.

The interesting aspect here is that as the number of FPV modules increases, motion responses become more pronounced. This observation merits attention from solar companies —the larger the module array, the more impact it seems to have on dynamics. For solar panels designed for your home, this might not be immediately relevant, but it definitely sets the tone for the drastic shifts that can happen in the solar industry.

Furthering their research, scientists also discovered that the mooring tension (the force that holds the floating array in place) of systems with hinged connections was greater than that of systems with fixed connections — a valuable insight for designing solar arrays for home use or on a larger scale.

Even more interesting is this new modular design for FPV platforms the group introduced. It incorporated the concept of semi-submersible ocean engineering platforms and used a catenary mooring system — a curve-based system that has been popular for bridge, ship, and ocean platform moorings.

The solar panels used were mounted at an inclination of 10 degrees onto steel trusses above the pontoons, ideally achieving at least 250 kW of power generation per platform. However, the real gem from this study comes from their recommendation of an installation angle of a minimum of 15 degrees for FPV systems, indicating that this can effectively reduce both motion and structural responses.

Concluding, the research emphasized that optimization of the mooring systems could further enhance the performance and reduce platform motion responses — ultimately leading to potential cost savings and making the system more economically viable. This notion resonates deeply with solar companies looking to push boundaries in floating photovoltaic technology.

In essence, the solar industry is not stationary; it is constantly shifting, innovating, and evolving. From solar arrays for homes to offshore floating systems, the goal remains the same — achieving greater energy efficiency and sustainability while reducing costs. As always, keep an eye on this space for the latest solar developments and insights! Until our next solar-centric chit-chat, keep harnessing the power of the sun!

Original Articlehttps://pv-magazine-usa.com/2024/03/18/new-modular-design-for-offshore-floating-photovoltaic-platforms/

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