First floating solar panel platform tested for future use in the sea

The first floating solar panel platform tests are underway in the port of Ostend. Seavolt, a partnership between Tractebel, DEME and Jan De Nul, is getting ready to install the platform, which will be moved from the port and anchored in the North Sea in August.

The installation will collect data on the impact of waves, rain and salt spray on the eight solar panels. “It is not the intention to work on a large scale right now. We mainly want to test," says Seavolt.

“The test aims to determine what level of protection is required to shield the solar panels against seawater and bird droppings. In the meantime, we are looking at where to place the next full-size test setup.”

In addition to the technical tests, the prototype installation will also consider the ecological aspects and examine whether the materials harm the marine environment. The test results will determine the choice of materials for the development of the platform and inspect whether mussel growth and oyster farming can be combined with the platform's presence.

The federal government will provide 2 million euros for the project. “In a second phase, we will issue a public contract to see what can be developed on a large scale with the intention of this product being exported to other countries," says ninister of the North Sea Vincent Van Quickenborne (Open VLD).



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