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Floating photovoltaic panels installation

Which information are required for the design of the floating solar power plant?

Initially, to be able to make a first assessment of the site, the GPS coordinates are sufficient. Later, for a more detailed assessment, new data are needed:

  • The depth and variation of the water level,
  • The slope angle of the bank.

These data will allow the engineering team to determine the exploitable surface.

Are the inverters installed on the floating photovoltaic panels?

In most cases, power plants are designed with central inverters located on dedicated platforms and junction boxes are installed on the maintenance aisles of the floating solar power plant. 

Depending on the floating product chosen, inverters can also be installed on the floating photovoltaic platform. This is part of the consultation between our experts at Laketricity, Ciel & Terre and our EPC contractor (Engineering, Procurement & Construction).

Is a BOS specification required for the hardware (weight, IP code, size)?

We recommend using at least IP68 rated equipment. As far as weight is concerned, the lighter the equipment, the better.

Of course, we consider any local regulations regarding electrical equipment and we ensure that our certified EPC (Engineering, Procurement & Construction) contractor complies with all codes and local standards.

How is the wiring of the photovoltaic panels performed?

The wiring of the photovoltaic panels is performed on the banks during the assembly stage of the panels to the floats and the floats between them. The cables are connected to the back of the solar panels and attached to the frame to avoid any contact with the water.

The floating structure is then pushed on the water, row after row, to allow an assembly line after line of the island.

Is it safe to have photovoltaic panel connectors in contact with water?

When designing the power plant, our parent company Ciel & Terre International, in charge of the design, recommends reducing the risk of contact with water by attaching the DC cables to the photovoltaic panels before the floats are launched. This can be achieved by using stainless steel clips for example.

Can frameless photovoltaic panels be installed on your floating solar systems?

The floating solar solutions we use today are mainly designed for framed photovoltaic panels. However, we can provide solutions to fix frameless solar panels depending on the chosen configuration. We draw your attention to the fact that frameless solar panels are more fragile and therefore less suitable for floating photovoltaic installations.

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