The art of study new technology like floating PV

Floating solar power is attracting more and more attention from solar project developers. It is an innovative technology with great potential, but there are still few technical references for this type of plant. In 2019, kiloWattsol participated as a technical expert in the study of the production of the first floating solar project of Boralex in Peyrolles-en-Provence. The specific project has a capacity of 14.7 MW.

In order to provide a solution that would ensure accurate measurement of the deliverable, the kiloWattsol team immediately mobilised its knowledge and carried out a state of the art study on the impacts and characteristics of the components aimed at optimising the yield in the context of floating projects.

Thanks to its experience in technical component analysis and research and innovation, the KWS team was able to gather the key elements in a short period of time and carry out a critical reading of the market and the components used to provide the client with relevant technical validation.

Illustration of a PV plant @kilowattsol

A project-based methodology.

With more than 43,000 solar panels installed on a floating structure, the Peyrolles project is considered a reference project. Its structure consists of dead-body anchors and several types of technologies are listed.

For a special project such as this, it was appropriate to create a custom reference method. Fortunately, for the kilowattsol team, studying specific or pioneering projects in terms of technology is a challenge and a passion. Our team of scientists - some would say madmen - provide quality critical readings and validation for innovative solar projects.

Everything is calculable and no project is left in doubt at KWS. After a data analysis combining clustering and development, we were able to propose to the client a methodology that allows for the in-depth study of the site taking into account all the characteristics and influence of the different elements on the site.

Climate, the keystone updated by kiloWattsol.

Thanks to its own calculation tool, kiloWattsol adapts the data listed to obtain a fine time step of 16 years, which enables it to use a precise reference system to calculate the climate of the sites it studies. Indeed, the calculation of the latter is often carried out over one year with a time step of one hour in 2019. Thanks to this dynamic iterative calculation and the adaptation of the climate over 16 years, it is able to produce a calculation that takes better account of the uncertainties that can affect the production of a project and comes closer to the behaviour of the installation in its real operating conditions.

Ensuring an accurate calculation of deliverability in specific environments is a security for all parties in a project. It is not yet possible to compare the Peyrolles plant's deliverability study with its actual performance, but KWS has been able to do this for several of the sites it has dealt with over the last ten years, such as Courans in France, and has obtained a differential varying between 0 and 0.3.

For the Peyrolles-en-Provence project, Boralex did not hesitate to put stakeholders in touch with KWS so that they could be reassured about the methodology used and the assumptions selected by its engineers for the study.

The team's rigorous scientific approach and neutrality make kiloWattsol a complementary and adaptable partner that is able to meet the expectations of each stakeholder.

Today, KWS has conducted 14,000 studies in 5 continents and the rigour and neutrality of its approach allows it to have a qualified technical approach that is coherent in the eyes of investors and banking institutions at the international level.