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Floating solar concepts under scrutiny

AuthorsDrummen, I., Otto, W., Zanden, J. van der
Conference/JournalMARIN Report 135
Date20 Apr 2023
More than 70% of the surface of our blue planet is covered with water. The Netherlands lies on a river delta and is inextricably linked to the sea. Floating solutions offer space at a time of rising sea levels and overpopulated areas. Over the past decade, MARIN has contributed to the development of floating solar panels. Our aim is to work on low technology readiness concepts and innovations and openly share these with industry and academia.

In the last five years, several floating solar concepts have been tested at MARIN’s basin facilities. The small payload and large span of surface area make floating solar different from existing offshore floaters. With an average payload of less than 100kg per square metre, this only adds a couple of centimetres to the draught of the floaters. This facilitates lightweight constructions, which are also necessary from a cost perspective. However, with production in the order of a megawatt per hectare, large areas are needed in order to have a significant energy yield.


Contact person photo

Ingo Drummen

Teamleader Hydro-Structural Services

William Otto

Senior Project Manager

Joep van der Zanden

Senior Project Manager

Flexible constructions

The combination of lightweight constructions with a large span inevitably results in flexible constructions, which are either continuously flexible or flexible in segments. This brings new challenges for model-scale basin testing. Lightweight constructions become even lighter when produced at model scale. An additional complexity is the scaling of the bending flexibility, which does not scale properly if the construction’s cross-sections are geometrically scaled.

Lightweight constructions become even lighter when produced at model scale