Belgian partners present new offshore solar technology
Jan De Nul, Tractebel, and DEME have jointly developed a new offshore floating solar technology, said to be capable of operating in harsh marine conditions and in combination with offshore wind farms.
The patent pending technology, named SEAVOLT, can withstand harsh offshore conditions while creating large surfaces that are protected from the waves, according to the industry partners.
The modular design allows for easy adaptation to different sites and demands. Benefits include local renewable energy production and the possibility to install the panels in offshore wind farms, where local authorities permit multi-use concessions.
Another advantage is the addition of large volumes of renewable energy capacity in a relatively short time.
The partners, together with Ghent University, started the VLAIO-funded research project MPVAQUA (Marine PV Aquaculture) within the frame of Blue Cluster four years ago.
A marine floater concept was developed together with initial research on effects on the marine ecosystem, integration of aquaculture, and a financial assessment.
Following laboratory testing, the partners are currently developing an offshore solar test installation which will be launched off the Belgian coast in summer 2023.
Furthermore, in collaboration with RBINS, parallel tracks focusing on the ecosystem, the environment and cost effectiveness are being launched with the support of the Energy Transition Fund and the Federal Relaunch Fund.
Philippe Van Troeye, CEO of Tractebel, said: “In the same way that we have seen wind technology moving from land to the sea, we are seeing the extension of the whole energy system towards offshore locations.
“Along with offshore green fuel production, offshore energy islands, interconnectors and potential solutions for energy storage, we believe offshore floating PV has an important role to play in the acceleration of the energy transition.
“While this technology is still in its infancy, we are convinced that with such strong partners on board we are giving SEAVOLT all possible chances to succeed.”
Philippe Hutse, offshore director at Jan De Nul Group, added: “SEAVOLT is a reliable, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly solution that can be deployed in even the harshest offshore conditions.
“As the offshore wind industry continues to grow, we believe that it has the potential to play a crucial role in optimizing the use of space on the sea by complementing offshore wind farms. We are excited to see how SEAVOLT will shape the future of renewable energy and contribute to a more sustainable future.”
Subscribe and follow
Offshore Energy – Marine Energy LinkedIn