Photo: Illustration/Sungrow's Xinji Huainan floating solar farm (Courtesy of Sungrow)

DNV verifies Sungrow’s mooring design for floating solar systems

Certification body DNV has issued a ‘Statement of Conformity’ to the Chinese solar energy company Sungrow for its anchoring and mooring design methodology for floating solar systems.

Illustration/Sungrow's Xinji Huainan floating solar farm (Courtesy of Sungrow)
Illustration/Sungrow’s Xinji Huainan floating solar farm (Courtesy of Sungrow)

Sungrow is the first company to receive a ‘Statement of Conformity’ according to the newly published recommended practice DNVGL-RP-0584 for its anchoring and mooring design methodology.

The approval was issued after a thorough verification process, based on the requirements and recommendations of DNVGL-RP-0584 concerning design methodology for anchoring and mooring of floating solar plants.

It verifies that the design methodology for Sungrow’s anchoring and mooring, including design principles, methods and safety factors, complies with the recommended practice, and is considered adequate to be implemented in design of future floating solar projects.

However, project specific requirements, as well as correct site-specific environmental conditions, will need to be considered when applying the design methodology, DNV said.

Tia Qin of Sungrow said: “We are honoured to be able to say now that our design methodology complies with the requirement of DNVGL-RP-0584 for design, development and operation of floating solar photovoltaic systems. With correct implementation this will help to ensure the reliability and robustness of mooring and anchoring system in the full life cycle of floating solar plants”.

Prajeev Rasiah, executive vice president for energy systems for Northern Europe at DNV, added: “The floating solar market is growing quickly and expanding from Asia, which still retains the highest market share, to Europe and other areas of the world.

“To enable the growth of this exciting renewable technology, DNV is pleased to provide assurance of this methodology utilized by our customers on their projects thereby enhancing safety and operability of them.  We do this by bringing together our combined knowledge from years of experience in the solar and water domains that has been central in developing the recommended practice against which we provide such assurance”.

Floating solar has become an increasingly popular solution for installation of renewable energy in areas with space constraints, however anchoring and mooring failures have proven to be a threat and a major risk for floating photovoltaic installations around the world, with more than a few cases of accidents being recorded.

It is important to put a strong focus in floating solar projects to ensure proper and accurate design of these components, to avoid more accidents and a detrimental effect on the development and progress of the whole floating solar segment, according to DNV.

According to the DNV’s 2021 Energy Transition Outlook, solar is forecast to see a 20-fold growth over the period to 2050. Within the growing solar industry, floating solar is still a niche, but growing rapidly.

Recent estimates for the global installed capacity of floating solar are above 3GWp, with wide-spread consensus among industry players that the capacity is expected to reach 10GWp before the end of 2025, DNV claims.

A report from the World Bank estimates the global potential of floating solar, under moderate assumptions, is more than 4TWp on man-made reservoirs alone, without accounting for coastal and offshore areas.