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13-04-2021

Inspecting solar panel farms with an ROV?

Written by Karst Beens

New solar panel farms on the water.

The technology and opportunities involved continue to evolve. When mixed with interests and global issues, this produces beautiful pieces of work. For example, solar parks have been developed on the water! These are so-called “floating solar parks”. Solar panels are being laid in large numbers on ponds, dredging sites, and other inland water sites. This is one of the initiatives to ultimately meet the 2050 climate goals.

 

How will solar panel farms be placed on waters?

Of course, it’s not all easy! Unlike on land, it is not easy to work on the water, and all parts must go out onto the water fully prepared. These are therefore:

  • Manufactured
  • Transported to the water
  • Assembled on the waterfront
  • Connected to the systems
  • Released into the water

Of course, it is very important that the solar panels are placed quite a bit above the water line. Any form of noise reduces the optimum energy yield.

What does it provide?

In essence, floating solar panel farms yield just as much as solar panel farms on land or on rooftops. Thus, these will achieve almost the same efficiency. But in addition to the same efficiency, there are more positive points that give these solar parks advantages.

  • Solution for lack of space
  • Solution in the fight against the emerging waterline
  • More opportunities to achieve the climate agreement.

Resource: h2owaternetwerk

 

How are these maintained?

It is obviously important to maintain solar panel farms, and there is a lot that needs to be paid attention to.

The first points that come up are often things like keeping the solar panels clean. After all, when they are dirty they yield much less, and that is a shame. In addition, the wiring and electronics must be checked to see if they are still in good condition.

The various foundations on which the solar panels lie must also be checked for soundness. If necessary, algae growth on the underside should be removed.

The anchoring must be checked, the fastenings must be checked thoroughly! The solar panels must not move too much as this can cause damage

 

What can an underwater drone add to solar panel farms?

  • safety
  • security
  • cost efficient

“Despite the fact that little is known about the effects of solar farms, it is clear that toxic substances can leak into water during maintenance and damage.” This is mainly seen from an ecological perspective, water quality and biodiversity, and we think this is entirely justified. Climate research is also possible with an underwater drone, we can read temperature differences at all depths. However, we see an extra dimension in this: safety of inspectors

If toxic substances enter the water, you obviously do not want to send divers. This can be done safely from the shore with an underwater drone!

Besides safety, ROVs also provide extra security. It is easy to inspect from the shore, as you would do on land. With sonar and camera images, there is always a view, and the quality can be properly inspected.

Another important addition of an underwater drone to your solar farm, is that it can provide more and better product quality. Also, more capacities are available, as we can dive much deeper and for longer times in a row.


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