Frequently Asked Questions
What is the PV yield compared to ground-mounted PV or conventional floating PV systems?
Research carried out by Selj et al. from the Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) demonstrates that Ocean Sun’s technology can provide a ~10% increase in yield compared to air-cooled PV systems. Further testing confirms this approximate improvement figure dependent on local conditions.
Are the modules permanently fixed or glued to the membrane, or can they be removed?
Male Keder strips are welded on the membrane. The modules are fitted with a maritime-grade aluminium female Keder and are slid into position and secured by crimping. This facilitates simple installation and replacement of the modules.
What testing has been done on the panel attachments to ensure that it lasts for the expected lifetime?
There are no significant stresses on the attachments between the membrane and the modules as the modules are supported by the membrane and are not subject to horizontal forces. Testing shows high redundancy in the strength of the welded Keder.
Given that the PV modules are unframed, will micro-cracking occur due to wave action, and what effect will this have on yield? How can you prove this to a third-party engineering company?
The membrane provides support for the modules with little stress. Due to consistent water-cooling, the panels do not experience daily thermal cycling. Additionally, there is no wind vibration or snow load. Attaching the back of modules directly to the membrane allows for sufficient support with insignificant flexing and pressure points. Multiple independent assessments of the Ocean Sun system installed off the coast of Norway have been carried out. In these reports, researchers from the Institute for Energy Technology (IFE), amongst others, concluded that after 3 years of harsh Norwegian weather conditions, the panels had 0% degradation.
Can the membrane and modules handle snow and ice loads?
Our system has been tested with moderate amounts of snow and ice in the Norwegian fjords without problems. However, we normally seek locations without thick ice.
At what angle do the modules tilt?
The modules lie flat on the membrane. The benefits of this are fourfold:
- Thermal dissipation, resulting in ~10% increased efficiency that will outweigh the added yield from tilt in high latitude locations.
- Wind drag is minimized.
- Our installation procedure is both quick and low cost due to our patented locking mechanism.
- Due to the even distribution of weight when the module rests on water, it is possible to tread on the modules themselves, reducing redundant space and increasing the power output per hectare.
What kind of modules can be used?
The Chinese manufacturer GCL System Integration produces the customised 60-cell, dual-glass Ocean Sun module with front-mounted junction boxes. The modules are tested for our application by TÜV, following standard GCL warranties.
How is rainwater handled?
The OS-75 system comes equipped with 9 bilge pumps distributed on the membrane surface to ensure effective water dispersion. The pumps are dimensioned to tackle extreme precipitation events and potential sea spray during storms. The 9-pump set-up also ensures redundancy in case of a pump failure.
How do you transport the hydro-elastic membrane?
The membrane for a 75 meter 640 kWp floater can easily be shipped in a single 40-foot container.
How are operations and maintenance performed on the floating system?
The hydroelastic membrane can be walked upon, and due to their patented mounting system, it is even possible to tread on the panels without damaging them. Thus, operators can easily access the whole system and efficiently perform O&M in situ.
What area is required for installation?
The OS75 floater provides up to 640 kWp installed capacity. Each floater has an area of approximately 0.44 hectares. This equates to 1.4 MWp per hectare for each floater. For larger multi-ring systems, some space is required between the floaters to provide access for O&M.
Are there videos from an Ocean Sun system?
Yes, in the footer of the webpage, you will find the link to our youtube channel. Here we upload videos from Ocean Sun installations around the world.