SUNdy: a floating solar field
Solar radiation is distributed over the entire planet. 50 percent of the population lives near the coast taxing land and fresh water resources. Combining these facts to tap solar as a truly sustainable resource, demands a fresh solution. DNV KEMA's SUNdy concept for a large scale floating offshore solar field concept, brings this vision a step closer to reality.
The core of SUNdy is a 2 MW hexagonal array which floats on the sea surface. The scalable design can be deployed independently or linked together with others, providing electricity that can grow with societal needs. The SUNdy concept is made possible using thin-film 560 W solar panels. Thin-film solar panels are cheaper and gaining market share, with efficiencies approaching those of crystalline silicone. These thin-film panels are flexible and lighter than the traditional rigid glass-based modules, allowing them to undulate with the ocean’s surface.
Creating solar islands
An array of SUNdy floating modules would be manufactured as a pre-wired unit, significantly reducing the number of electrical connections while also minimising the need for offshore assembly. A collection of these arrays, totaling 4,200 solar panels, forms an expansive solar island the size of a large football stadium, capable of generating 2 MW of power. Multiple islands connected together constitute a solar field of 50 MW or more, producing enough electricity for 30,000 people. Islands would ideally be located in benign waters with depths ranging from 20–100 m and approximately five miles from shore away from shipping lanes.
The main beneftis include
The oceans provide abundant space close to energy demand
Absence of moving mechanical parts gives high reliability with low operating costs
Buoyancy supports the panels, allowing for a simple structure
Low visual profile in the ocean, avoiding visual disturbance
Air and seawater cooling promote higher efficiencies
Abundant water for cleaning
The modular scaleable system is cost effective to manufacture