Technical features of a floating system for solar power project
Solar energy is an excellent source of renewable energy that has been widely adopted across the world. However, the installation of solar panels on land is becoming increasingly difficult due to the lack of available land and the environmental impact of land-use changes. The solution to this problem lies in the installation of solar panels on water bodies. The installation of solar panels on water bodies has been gaining popularity due to its many benefits. One such system is the solar floating system, which is an innovative and efficient way to generate solar energy. In this article, we will discuss the technical features of a solar floating system.
The technical specifications of the solar floating system are outlined in section 7 of the document. The document specifies that the floating system must comply with the latest edition of the following standards and codes, including amendments: ASTM D1693, ASTM D790, ASTM D 638, ASTM D695, ASTM D 2565, ASTM G7/G7M, UL 94, or equivalent IEC/ISO standards.
The floating system must consist of multiple modular floating units/platforms and be connected to the ground using anchoring and mooring systems. The float unit must have a minimum material thickness of 3 mm, with moisture retention of less than 5%. The floating system/platform must be fenced with vacant floats to demarcate the boundary.
The buoyancy of the floats must maintain the minimum clearance and stability of the floating system in the reservoir. The weight of algae growth must also be considered while designing the system. Floats must be designed to prevent/mitigate stagnation of water. The floating unit must be manufactured from thermoplastic material with UV stabilizer (not less than UV24 additive package) and corrosion-resistant additives so that the floating unit can sustain for 25 years in the aqueous environment.
The floats may be filled with virgin expanded polystyrene foam to increase the strength of the float and to serve as a backup floatation system. All the materials used in the floating system must comply with national and international environmental laws and regulations. The materials used for manufacturing the floating unit must be tested at an ILAC accredited testing laboratory for ensuring the suitability of the material for use in aqueous applications.
All the modules must be accessible for maintenance once multiple floating units are connected together. All fasteners used in the floating system must be made of SS 316. Aluminium alloy, if used in the floating system, should be of 5052 grade or higher, suitable for aqueous applications. The Floating system must be able to support the load of O&M Personnel (at least 2 personnel 80 kg each) and equipment like String Combiner Box etc.
The floating units must be re-processable and recyclable at the end of their useful life. The Contractor must get the design of the modular floating platform vetted and the prototype validated by IITs or NIOT, Chennai, having Multi Element Wave Maker or other methodology as per the recommendation of the Institute and submit it for Employer’s approval during detailed engineering.
The floating system or sections thereof must be anchored using concrete blocks. Sea floor drilling is not permitted for anchoring/tethering. Tethering hawser for mooring/anchoring system shall be stranded steel (with protective Zinc coating)/steel reinforced polyester/rubber type to withstand abrasion, UV radiation, and chemical weathering for the plant design life. The mooring system shall be designed to keep the floating platform in position during fluctuation in water level.
The complete system (floating, anchoring & mooring system) must be designed to withstand the maximum wind speed of the location as per IS 875 – Part 3, worst-case waves, tides (regular and random), and water currents prevailing at the proposed reservoirs.