FLOW – Floating Solar Systems

The field of floating solar power (f-PV) plants offers several advantages over land-based PV. f-PV has the potential to increase performance, reduce transmission and site preparation costs and to provide easy installation and deployment. With several ongoing research projects, IFE is heavily involved in many of the growing activities within floating solar systems.

The field attracts much attention both from investors, utilities and the research community. However, there is an urgent need to develop high quality data related to performance, reliability and operational characteristics of f-PV power plants for identifying innovation opportunities, reducing risks, developing improved solutions and improving bankability. In order to achieve this, IFE has partnered with  five companies Equinor, Multiconsult, Ocean Sun Scatec Solar and Statkraft, all of which are increasing their activities in the field.

The primary objective of this project is to kick-start growth of a domestic industry in f-PV by developing, documenting and publishing critical, new knowledge related to the performance and degradation of f-PV and to clarify specific requirements for O&M. This will be done by reaching the following secondary objectives:

  • To instrument f-PV power plants in Norway and abroad for robust performance analysis.
  • To analyse and document performance of said f-PV power plants.
  • To identify and document f-PV failure and degradation modes and their propagation with time.
  • To quantify water cooling for different f-PV technologies and its impact on performance.
  • To develop verified models for water cooling for said f-PV technologies.
  • To develop recommendations for hybridization of f-PV power plants with hydropower.
  • To develop an improved understanding of O&M of f-PV power plants.
  • To support the education of a researcher within the field of f-PV (Nærings-PhD, already funded) .
  • To establish a Norwegian platform for developing further R&D and innovation projects.
  • To establish Norwegian researchers with a high international visibility in f-PV.