Solar-powered rafts that glide ‘like a carpet’ on waves to be built in the North Sea

When the sun is shining, there is no better place than to swim in the sea, and the same goes for solar panels.

Engineers from the Dutch-Norwegian startup SolarDuck are developing huge solar panels that can glide “like a carpet” over waves in the North Sea.

The panels are part of a pilot project to use the planet’s 139 million square miles of ocean space for energy production.

Merganser – the first “floating solar park” – will be installed in the waters off Ostend, Belgium, and will have a peak power of 500 kW.

The project is funded by German energy giant RWE, which hopes to commercialize the technology from next year if the scheme is successful.

Merganser – the first “floating solar park” – will be installed in the waters off Ostend, Belgium, and will have a peak power of 0.5 MW.

SolarDuck has developed a triangular-shaped solar panel platform designed to float several meters above rougher waters and follow the waves below.  Pictured is a King Eider shore display panel.

SolarDuck has developed a triangular-shaped solar panel platform designed to float several meters above rougher waters and follow the waves below. Pictured is a King Eider shore display panel.

SolarDuck CEO Cohen Burgers states: “The need for safe, sustainable and affordable energy requires new and immediate responses from the industry in Europe as well as around the world.

“SolarDuck is part of that answer, taking solar power to the next frontier—the oceans.

“Demonstrating the robust SolarDuck technology in the harsh environment of the North Sea will enable us to deploy this technology virtually anywhere in the world.”

In with statement Released earlier this week, RWE revealed that Merganser will be SolarDuck’s first offshore pilot since it was founded in 2019.

SolarDuck successfully deployed its King Eider pilot panel on the Rhine last April.

The SolarDuck solar panel design has received the world's first certification by the French certification body Bureau Veritas for offshore floating solar panels.

The SolarDuck solar panel design has received the world’s first certification by the French certification body Bureau Veritas for offshore floating solar panels.

HOW DO SOLAR PANELS WORK?

Photovoltaic solar panels work by absorbing light energy and using that energy to “excite” electrons.

An electric field is then created through the layers of silicon in the cell, allowing the electrons to flow as electricity.

Floating solar panels installed. interior and offshore, but offshore panels must withstand harsher conditions.

This includes strong winds, strong waves, and corrosive seawater.

Floating solar power successfully implemented interior and offshore, but panels deployed offshore must withstand more severe conditions.

This includes strong winds, strong waves and corrosion from sea water.

SolarDuck has developed a triangular-shaped solar panel platform designed to float several feet above rougher waters and follow the waves below.

This keeps the electrical components dry, clean and stable and the semi-submersible design secure.

The design has received the world’s first certification for offshore floating solar panels by the French certification body Bureau Veritas.

Sven Utermöhlen, CEO of Wind Offshore at RWE Renewables, said: “For countries with lower average wind speeds but high solar radiation, this presents an attractive opportunity.

“With the SolarDuck pilot project, we are gaining experience with innovative offshore floating solar technology.

“We want to do our part to accelerate the energy transition, have a positive impact on the marine environment and help integrate energy systems.”

The two companies also hope to deploy floating solar panels between wind turbines at the Hollandse Kust West offshore wind farm under construction (file image).

The two companies also hope to deploy floating solar panels between wind turbines at the Hollandse Kust West offshore wind farm under construction (file image).

Photovoltaic solar panels work by absorbing light energy and using that energy to

Photovoltaic solar panels work by absorbing light energy and using that energy to “excite” electrons. An electric field is then created through the layers of silicon in the cell, allowing the electrons to flow as electricity.

The two companies also hope to place floating solar panels between wind turbines at the Hollandse Kust West offshore wind farm under construction.

RWE is currently tendering for two wind farm sites that will each provide 760 MW of power over 30 miles (48 km) off the west coast of the Netherlands.

The proposed offshore floating solar power plant will have a peak capacity of 5 MW and will provide innovative energy storage solutions for the offshore wind farm.

Energy giant RWE said “the integration of an offshore floating solar array into an offshore wind farm” was “a more efficient use of ocean space for energy production.”

RWE is currently tendering for two sites of the Hollandse Kust West wind farm, each of which will provide 760 MW of power over 30 miles (48 km) off the west coast of the Netherlands.

RWE is currently tendering for two sites of the Hollandse Kust West wind farm, each of which will provide 760 MW of power over 30 miles (48 km) off the west coast of the Netherlands.

Can wind turbines save coral reefs? Scientists will try to grow corals on the “legs” of offshore windmills

Offshore wind farms are often criticized for the damage they cause to marine habitats, but scientists say they can help ecosystems by growing corals.

Danish sustainable energy company Ørsted plans to create coral colonies on the steel foundations of four offshore wind turbines Taiwan.

Together with Taiwanese partners, the company will begin testing the concept, dubbed ReCoral, in tropical waters off Taiwan’s Penghu Islands starting next month.

Relatively stable sea water temperature wind power plant Experts say the sites will limit the risk of “coral bleaching” and allow healthy corals to grow.

Coral bleaching is when corals turn white due to various stressors such as temperature changes, and is therefore caused by climate change.

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