RWE, Fraunhofer ISE and BTU Teams Up For PV2Float Project

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The PV2Float project is backed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

RWE Renewables, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg (BTU) are working together to further develop this innovative technology with other partners. In the joint research project PV2Float, the partners are to test several floating PV systems with different structure designs under real conditions over a three-year period. An evaluation for a suitable open pit lake for the implementation is currently ongoing.

The aim of the PV2Float project, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, is to develop the potential of this technology. The power plants installed and tested in this project form an important basis for the research work, with which a precise analysis of the technical requirements, economic efficiency and the ecological effects of floating PV plants in Germany will be carried out. Acceptance of the new technology will also be investigated.

In addition to selecting the location, the project partner RWE will carry out a comprehensive potential analysis of the German and international market for floating PV. As one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, RWE has many years of experience in the construction and operation of ground-mounted PV plants. Currently the company is implementing a floating PV project in the Netherlands.

Fraunhofer ISE will investigate the regulatory framework for floating PV plants and is also developing a procedure for the participation of local stakeholders. Additionally the institute will perform durability tests on the individual system components, further developing PV modules as well as simulation models on energy yield, adapting them to meet the particular requirements of floating applications, where necessary. The researchers at Fraunhofer ISE will also investigate the economic viability of floating PV. Stefan Wieland, project head at Fraunhofer ISE, said “Bodies of water put special demands on the design, material, environmental compatibility and operational management of floating PV power plants. In the project, these aspects are investigated for large floating PV plants.”

The aquatic ecology monitoring is the responsibility of BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg and the Institut für Wasser und Boden Dr Uhlmann in Dresden. Dr Dieter Leßmann of the Faculty of Water Protection at BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg said “The ecological compatibility of floating PV systems is a basic prerequisite for approval and authorization. In the research project PV2Float, we will deepen our knowledge on the ecological effects that these systems may have on bodies of water.”

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