SINTEF: Aims to Develop Floating Solar Power Plants

4 mins read  Sealuminati TeamMay 10, 2021

Lockheed Martin (engineering corporation, US) partnerships with Consortium Reignwood (constructions, HK) to construct an Ocean Thermal energy Conversion (OTEC) in the South China seas, setting the standards high for all other worldwide OTEC building and development.

Reignwood consortium constructed holiday resort township will draw in the sustainable energy provided by the power plant. The power generation of the power plant is estimated to be around 10 watts, enough to light up a small metropolis.

The higher degree of variation in the temperature levels between the surface and the sub-waters aided by the warmth of the oceanic waves, which increases the productivity of the power plant by greater folds. Making the South China seas the most potential waters to operate an Ocean Thermal energy Conversion.

Ocean Thermal energy Conversion power plants not only have the potential to generate higher extents of energy but also has several other advantages, which are as follow:-

  • Marginal decrease in standard fuel operational costs.
  • Marginal decrease in the emergence of toxic gases
  • A continuous 24*7 throughout the year, energy production without any delay or disruption faced

Aiming to leverage the OPEC power plant optimizations, many engineering experts claim that the threshold energy produced can be utilized to power electricity-driver automobiles and also can be made to reach areas accumulating resources for desalination of waters. This venture is surely trustworthy, in terms of providing maximum benefits to both the money investing business giants.

Model Testing – To Achieve Goals, Challenge Traditions

Commissioned by Moss Maritime and Equinor, SINTEF researchers tested a floating solar plant model across a 1:13 ocean basin scale. Moss Maritime equipped the model with sensors to collect wave information, loads, and movement to scale numerical plans, which will help in designing the perfect infrastructure for Equinor.

"This was a special project for us. We have never before tested a design with so many modules," says SINTEF researcher Galin Tachiev, who leads the model testing. "The model consists of a total of 64 floats connected together, making us well equipped to handle such complex installations. The collaboration between Moss Maritime and Equinor is innovative because it explores the possibility of installing at vulnerable locations."

Model testing is important when you are challenging traditional marine structures to bring something new, giving you a reliable dataset for the construction’s behavior under realistic conditions to deal with complex systems and complex behaviors, explains Nuno Fonseca.

Future of Offshore Energy in Making

"The collaboration between Moss Maritime and Equinor is innovative because it explores the possibility of installing at vulnerable locations. Today's concepts are mostly designed for lakes and hydropower reservoirs, and many of them would fall short if they were exposed to waves. One of the biggest advantages will be to have several locations in the immediate vicinity, and that they complement each other. This is one of our strengths. Norwegian industry has a strong and unique position as a leader in renewable energy, offshore technology, and marine operations," says Øyvind Hellan.

Being also involved with the floating sun off Frøya – Equinor’s pilot plant, SINTEF aims to provide researchers with full-scale research facilities and work along with chances with future Ocean Space Centre and SINTEF ACE. Researchers in collaborations with their colleagues are wanting to work on the technical aspects of floating solar panels and their installation after effects.