Solar Islands – This is a great concept

They say nothing about storms or ship traffic so I am not sure how this would work in the real world.

Floating solar islands designed to power crowded cities

By on 29 October 2012

Not to be confused with what could be the biggest storm ever to hit the United States, SUNdy – a large-scale offshore solar farm concept by global consultancy and certification firm DNV – was unveiled at Singapore International Energy Week on Thursday last week.

The core feature of the floating solar concept is a hexagonal array of 4,200 solar panels – roughly the size of a football pitch – which floats on the sea’s surface. The ‘solar island’ would be capable of generating 2MW of power, with multiple islands joined together to create an offshore solar field of 50MW or more, producing enough electricity for around 30,000 people.

“The island has been optimised for solar capability and cabling efficiency,” says 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.”

Sanjay Kuttan, managing director of the DNV Clean Technology Centre in Singapore says SUNdy’s thin-film 560W solar panels are flexible and lighter most silicon-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.”


Go there and read. More tomorrow.


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