Photo: Illustration/Sunlit Sea’s floating solar panel (Courtesy of Sunlit Sea)

Sunlit Sea targets fully automated floating solar panels production

Norwegian company Sunlit Sea is ramping up the production capacity for its floating solar technology by transitioning from manual to automatic production at its facilities.

Illustration/Sunlit Sea’s floating solar panel (Courtesy of Sunlit Sea)
Illustration/Sunlit Sea’s floating solar panel (Courtesy of Sunlit Sea)

Sunlit Sea’s semi-automated production-line assembly process is currently well underway at its facility in Hasle, near Oslo in Norway, the company informed.

The work is delivered by Andron Handling and will help increase production rate, safe operation, and overall quality assurance, according to Sunlit Sea.

Part of the automatization system installed at Sunlit Sea facility (Courtesy of Sunlit Sea)
Part of the automatization system installed at Sunlit Sea facility (Courtesy of Sunlit Sea)

During the first step, the 2 by 10-meter ceiling-mounted rail system has been installed, running in parallel with the panel conveyor belt.

Sunlit Sea’s bespoke panel rotating gripper has also been integrated on a carriage attached to the roof rails.

The linear and rotary motion of the lifting device are powered by a pneumatic cylinder, operating using compressed air. Through operator input, vacuum cups attach to the panels and help lift them from one station to another.

Guillaume Kegelart, chief of industrialization at Sunlit Sea, said: “Building a fully automated assembly line is one of the main objectives here at Sunlit Sea. Making sure that the semi-automated production line would be compatible with future robotization and automation was therefore essential.

“Andron Handling was selected for its relevant industry references, professionalism, and understanding of our needs and requirements.  What started as sketches on a whiteboard have become a beautiful piece of engineering.

“We have now finished installing the first part of the assembly line, consisting of a solar panel manipulator. The rest of the line is scheduled for installation at the beginning of May 2022.”

Established in 2019, Sunlit Sea is developing a new type of technology for floating solar power installations.

Recently, DNV awarded the ‘Basis Statement of Conformity’ for the company’s floating solar technology, complying with DNV-RP-0584 Recommended Practice for design, development and operation of floating solar photovoltaic systems.

The verification covers the structural design methodology, including system description, design philosophy, environmental criteria, and methodology for assessing global loading and response.

“DNV is a brilliant partner in our verification work, and we are proud to say that our design basis is conformant to DNV-RP-0584,” said Per Lindberg, Sunlit Sea’s CEO.

Also, the Oslo-based company started testing a scale model of its floating solar technology at Stadt Towing Tank hydrodynamic facility in March 2022. The results from the test campaign will be used both to verify the accuracy of the built-in motion sensors and to streamline the technology further.

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