- Belgian companies Jan De Nul, Tractebel & DEME have introduced a new offshore PV concept called Seavolt
- It enables the solar panels to be installed high above the water which can be incorporated within a wind farm
- The team is now getting ready to deploy the same off the Belgian coast in summer 2023
A group of 3 Belgian companies, Jan De Nul, Tractebel and DEME Group have created a ‘cost-effective’ marine floater concept that enables standard solar panels stay high above the water as a new offshore floating PV technology, calling it Seavolt, that they plan to test with an installation off the Belgian coast in summer 2023.
Maritime infrastructure firm Jan De Nul, engineering services provider Tractebel, and marine engineering company DEME claim that their Seavolt technology makes it possible for panels to be easily integrated into offshore windfarms to generate renewable energy making use of multi-use concessions given by local authorities.
Offshore Director at Jan De Nul Group, Philippe Hutse calls Seavolt a reliable, cost-effective and environment friendly solution that can be deployed in even the harshest offshore conditions.
Seavolt’s module design allows for expansion and adaptation to site specific demands. Solar modules can be easily installed, moved and decommissioned with limited impact on marine seabed. An elevated platform to install the modules ensures these avoid rough offshore conditions. The trio have applied for a patent for their technology.
“As authorities allow for multi-use concessions and the grid infrastructure shows good potential for combined use, the addition of offshore floating solar to current and future offshore wind sites presents an opportunity to add large volumes of additional renewable energy,” according to the project partners.
This marine floater concept was initially developed by the trio, 4 years back, along with Ghent University under a Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO)-funded research project called Marine PV Aquaculture (MPVAQUA). It deliberated on the effects of the marine ecosystem, integration of aquaculture and financial assessment to reach the test installation stage.
Back in September 2021, Dutch solar technology company Oceans of Energy secured European Union funding for a 3 MW offshore solar farm, co-located with a bottom fixed windfarm off the Belgian coast (see 3 MW Offshore Solar System Off Belgium Coast).