DNV unveils its SUNdy floating solar field concept

A large-scale offshore solar field concept which launched at Singapore International Energy Week.

Singapore / Arnhem (The Netherlands) / Hvik (Norway), October 25, 2012 – Many countries are turning to solar technology and renewable energy because of a need for alternative energy sources and environmental concerns. To help meet these needs, DNV has developed SUNdy, a large-scale offshore solar field concept which launched at Singapore International Energy Week.

Researchers at DNV have developed a dynamic floating offshore solar field concept. Dubbed SUNdy, the core feature of the concept is a hexagonal array which floats on the sea surface. A collection of these arrays, totaling 4,200 solar panels, forms a solar island the size of a large football stadium, capable of generating 2 MW of power. Multiple islands connected together make up a solar field of 50 MW or more, producing enough electricity for 30,000 people.

"The renewable energy market is rapidly changing due in main part to climate change, soaring global demand for electricity, and diminishing fossil fuels. For DNV, technological innovation is a key element in our strategy to help address these concerns and SUNdy, as an example of our research work, can help illustrate future applications for solar as a truly sustainable resource," says Bjrn Tore Markussen, Chief Operations Officer for DNV KEMA Energy & Sustainability in Asia. "Renewable energy is becoming increasingly important in nations across the globe, including Asia, and with such a readily available and abundant source that is rapidly approaching grid parity levels, it's solar power that's attracting a lot of interest in this part of the world."

The SUNdy concept is made possible using thin-film 560 W solar panels which are flexible and lighter than the traditional rigid glass-based modules, allowing them to undulate with the ocean's surface explains Sanjay Kuttan, Managing Director of the DNV Clean Technology Centre in Singapore. "The key to creating an ocean-based structure of this size is the use of a tension-only design. Rather like a spider's web, this dynamic, compliant structure yields to the waves, yet is capable of withstanding considerable external loads acting upon it."

According to Mr Kuttan separating the solar arrays into prefabricated sections allows for large scale manufacturing and streamlined assembly offshore. The cable grid provides for maintenance access in the form of floating gangways. Below the surface, the shape of the island is maintained by the tensile forces from the lengthy spread mooring.

"The island has been optimized for solar capability and cabling efficiency," adds Kevin Smith, Global Segment Director for DNV KEMA's Renewable Energy Services. "The solar arrays are divided into electrical zones feeding electricity produced into two main switches collecting the power for voltage step up at a central transformer (2MVA 480/34.5kV). From the offshore solar farm's central island, 30kV electrical transmission lines connect, tying other islands in series to form a close loop and continue to the electrical sub-station onshore for grid connection."

The unveiling of the SUNdy concept comes at a time when solar photovoltaics (PV) is experiencing extraordinary market growth. Almost 30 GW of operating capacity has been added, increasing total global capacity by 74 percent to more than 69 GW according to the Renewable Energy Policy Network 2012 report. While the EU again dominated the global market, markets are expanding in other regions, and China has rapidly emerged as the dominant player in Asia. Emerging markets, such as Southeast Asia, are also aiming to grow their renewable energy production with an increased presence in the solar sector.

"Many countries are turning to solar technology and renewable energy because of a need for alternative energy sources and environmental concerns" says Mr Markussen and adds, "This is particularly so in highly populated countries which need more and more energy to supply their booming economies. We firmly believe the SUNdy floating solar field concept offers sound and sustainable development prospects, particularly in Asia and the congested coastal megacities where there's limited opportunity for rooftop solar power and urban areas which command premium prices for large-scale mounted solar production."

For more information, look at our website: www.dnvkema.com/SUNdy

Link to research paper (Sustainable growth for solar PV in the Asia Pacific: www.dnvkema.com/PV_APAC

Watch the video on : http://www.youtube.com/user/DNVKEMA/featured

About DNV

DNV is a global provider of risk management services with the purpose of safeguarding life, property and the environment. Organised as an independent, autonomous foundation, DNV balances the needs of business and society, based on its independence and integrity. With its vision of creating a global impact for a safe and sustainable future for its customers and, ultimately, society at large, DNV serves a range of high-risk industries through it three companies: DNV Maritime, Oil & Gas, DNV KEMA Energy & Sustainability and DNV Business Assurance. Established in 1864, the company has a global presence with a network of 300 offices in 100 countries, and is headquartered in Oslo, Norway. Its prime assets are the knowledge and expertise of its 10,000 employees from more than 80 nations. Recognised as a highly respected third party providing trust and confidence for its customers' stakeholders, DNV has been authorised by governments and national authorities to provide services in countries worldwide. DNV currently has a network of 2,000 employees in 80 offices in Asia. It has had a presence in Singapore for over 40 years and in 2010 it opened its Clean Technology Centre to meet the growing demand for risk management services in South East Asia within the segments of green shipping, LNG, carbon capture and storage, as well as power, transmission and renewables.

About DNV KEMA Energy & Sustainability

DNV KEMA, with more than 2,300 experts in over 30 countries around the world, is committed to driving the global transition toward a safe, reliable, efficient, and clean energy future. With a heritage of nearly 150 years, we specialize in providing world-class, innovative solutions in the fields of business & technical consultancy, testing, inspections & certification, risk management, and verification. As an objective and impartial knowledge-based company, we advise and support organizations along the energy value chain: producers, suppliers & end-users of energy, equipment manufacturers, as well as government bodies, corporations and non-governmental organizations. DNV KEMA is part of DNV, a global provider of services for managing risk with more than 10,000 employees in over 100 countries. For more information on DNV KEMA, visit www.dnvkema.com.

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