Photo: PortXL innovation platform supported two start-ups – Lexx and HelioRec (Courtesy of HelioREC)

Van Oord to use floating solar to power unmanned survey vessels

Dutch maritime giant Van Oord has signed a partnership agreement with floating solar specialist HelioRec to investigate the use of floating solar as power source for charging its unmanned survey vessels.

PortXL innovation platform supported two start-ups – Lexx and HelioRec (Courtesy of HelioREC)
PortXL innovation platform supported two start-ups – Lexx and HelioRec (Courtesy of HelioREC)

The partnership agreement has been signed as part of PortXL innovation programme, established by Van Oord to encourage innovation in the global maritime industry.

The French start-up Heliorec designs floating solar power plants, and in collaboration with Van Oord, it will be investigating the use of floating solar to power an electric charging station, ultimately meant to charge Van Oord’s electrical unmanned survey vessels.

Before the project can start, Van Oord needs to identify a fitting project location for the installation.

Until such time, HelioRec will start the necessary planning and preparatory works for the project, the company informed.

Polina Vasilenko, CEO and founder at Heliorec, said: “Working with Van Oord gives us the chance to develop a new kind of technology: an electric charging station powered by floating solar. It’s a great opportunity to develop a new concept in collaboration with Van Oord’s world-class experts, implement that concept around the world and accelerate decarbonisation in the maritime sector”.

Daan Baljet, manager of research, development and innovation at Van Oord, added: “Besides knowledge-sharing and business opportunities, PortXL offers us innovative ideas that inspire us to support businesses outside our normal routine”.

To remind, HelioRec completed the testing of its floating solar technology model at wave tank in Ecole Centrale de Nantes earlier in 2021, reaching another milestone on its path to technology commercialisation.

During the two-week testing campaign, HelioRec said it managed build the full-scale floating solar prototype and prove the system’s ‘hydro-lock’ ballasting feature.

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