Multi-use concept development for seaweed and floating solar energy production around wind turbines
In an open innovation project we aim to bring the multi-use, offshore space concept a step closer to reality by conceptualising, building and testing at model scale. Valuable data can be measured on the interaction between floating solar panels, seaweed farms and wind turbines, whilst setting an inspiring precedent for the industry. This process is inspired by the Google design sprint method - build fast, fail fast, and therefore learn fast.
The first stage of the open innovation project is the concept development. This has been done in a design sprint with experts from different backgrounds. The main goal of the session was to maximise the energy and food production on the North Sea per square metre. The sprint questions focused on topics such as how to make the concept viable, defining the ecological impact and how to maintain the structural integrity and the logistics around the wind farm. The conclusion of the design sprint is a modular layout with bio-inspired, flexible solar panels and a seaweed growth system which can easily be harvested and seeded.
MARIN’s Offshore Basin is transformed into a multi-use, North Sea farm in order to test different hydromechanical aspects of the design. The three main research topics are: the forces and behaviour of the structure, the influence of a seaweed farm on the incoming waves and the hydro-structural behaviour of the flexible solar panels. The first results are promising, with low mooring forces to keep the very large flexible structures in place.