Sunday, May 19, 2024

Engineering firm issues ‘instruction manual’ to deploy its innovative floating solar technology: ‘A stamp of quality’

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Moss Maritime now has the guidebook for the best way to install its innovative Xolarsurf offshore platform in the high seas. 

It’s essentially an “instruction manual” from Norway-based risk management firm DNV on best practices for how to place these sun-catching contraptions in open water, taking up no land, as DNV official Hans Kristian Danielsen said in a press release. 

The manual provides Moss, also from Norway, the blueprint to “design and develop floating solar power that can withstand rough sea conditions,” Danielsen said. 

As part of the assessment, DNV’s investigation looked at how to “reduce errors, deficiencies, and weaknesses.” A focal point in the 31-page document is how wind, waves, and currents impact offshore installations. The document was crafted for wind turbines, but schematics for anchoring the solar setup at sea are apparently applicable. 

“Compared to floating wind turbines, floating solar power technology is simpler, engineering costs are lower, and structures are easier to build. Floating solar power is also well-suited for mass production, which will have a positive impact on price and deployment,” Moss Engineering Vice President Alexander Minge Thøgersen said in the press release. 

He views DNV’s signoff as a “stamp of quality,” providing confidence in the road ahead. Moss plans to have a prototype on the water by June. 

Xolarsurf is a 968,000-square-foot floating solar array designed to operate in harsh conditions, via a flexible frame that can absorb wave contact while the unit continues to produce sustainable solar power. 

Offshore renewable power generation could be key to our cleaner energy future. India’s HTF Market Intelligence estimates global offshore solar to be worth nearly $85 billion. The business insight firm expects that value to balloon by more than $268 billion by 2029, according to a report posted on LinkedIn. 

In fascinating work off the coast of Denmark, developers are planning to make energy islands that serve as hubs to manage offshore wind, allowing for the electricity to be more efficiently sent to the coast. 

The solar developers envision arrays being placed in tandem with turbines, utilizing some of the same infrastructure, including the electricity export cables. 

“This provides both good area utilization and the possibility of cost reduction through the sharing of infrastructure,” Danielsen said in the statement. 

It might be hard to envision how projects far from home can impact your energy supply. But better battery-storage tech is paving the way for intermittent renewable power to be stored for longer periods, helping to supply the grid during peak hours. Offshore wind farms are already running off the East Coast, supplying tens of thousands of homes with clean energy.  

And thanks to community solar programs, you can utilize sun power without installing home-based panels. This could save money on your monthly power bill, not to mention cutting thousands of pounds of air pollution.  

So, while the solar work in Norway may seem distant, it’s part of an overall trend among energy developers to harness renewables wherever possible. With the help of DNV’s insight, the Moss work should be implemented with less risk.

“By verifying their design brief, DNV helps enable Moss Maritime in the deployment of their technology in a safe and reliable manner,” Prajeev Rasiah, a DNV executive for Northern Europe, said in the release.

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