New developments in floating solar panel systems

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Solar panels are gaining popularity. An increasing number of companies are installing them on their roofs and, in the greenhouse industry, more frequently on water basins. In 2023, Zon Op Waterbassin installed 33,000 across 19 water basins in total.

At a recent event organized by Zon Op Waterbassin, the company discussed what lies ahead for them, and the projects for 2024. These include one with even newer and more efficient panels, and another using battery for energy storage.

Opening remarks by Willem Verwoerd. After the plenary session, Hans van Luijk summarized the program.

Roland van der Klauw from Wocozon

Energy Communities
Roland van der Klauw from Wocozon was invited to give his opinion on the future. He obviously briefly talked politics, with topics such as the Energy Act which will be debated in a plenary session in The Hague (the Netherlands) on Wednesday. He also pointed out bottlenecks like an overloaded electricity network. In that regard, Roland discussed opportunities in the emergence of local energy communities, outside the grid. As an example, he mentioned the Schoon Schip project in Amsterdam. Currently an experiment, but it will soon be the future.

Jos Schlangen from Aiko updates Remon Gram from AAB and cucumber growers Bas and Jan Willem Bazuin.

Even More Efficient Panel
With a new solar panel featuring special properties, growers can get even more out of their solar panel installation on a water basin this year. With this message, Zon Op Waterbassin was present at HortiContact this spring. At the fair, a collaboration with Aiko was confirmed. The company provides a special solar panel for floating systems. This autumn, a cucumber grower in Pijnacker will be the first to get it (link in Dutch).

Plenary presentation by Jos Schlangen

Jos Schlangen, Senior Business Development Manager at Aiko, discussed the features of the new extra-large panel, including an anti-shadow technique that prevents a large part of the panel from temporarily shutting down due to protection when dirtied by, for example, bird droppings, but only one cell.

Hugo van Straten from Huawei discussed network congestion.

Battery System
Zon Op Waterbassin’s new panel produces 240 watts per square meter, meaning that more electricity will come from a water basin. If coupled with a battery system, that energy can also be stored. For instance, Huawei provides such systems. Hugo van Straten discussed the benefits of using battery systems, and his colleague Nick de Ruyter from Wattkraft Benelux extensively discussed safety aspects.

Question round about the battery

At that moment, the group of interested parties had moved from a small room in Maasdijk (the Netherlands) to the adjacent hall where a demo setup of a 240 kilowatt-hour battery was displayed. Standing around the battery, many questions arose, which Nick expertly answered. The air-cooled system is compartmentalized and equipped with a fire suppression module for oxygen extraction in case of fire. It’s wise to place the system slightly off the ground, to keep water out.

Nick de Ruyter from Wattkraft Benelux explained the battery system.

The most frequently asked question on Friday afternoon was: How many solar panels do you place with a battery system of a certain size? Nick couldn’t provide a single number, as that’s a rather complex calculation, where factors such as individual usage per situation need to be considered.

Eric van Velzen and Glenn Grootenboer from Ultramins discussed with interested parties the possibilities of USAF cavitation ultrasonic transmitters, which are easily combined with a system with solar panels on water.

Zon Op Water and its partners discussed the business case for installing solar panels on the water with (potential) customers, possibly with a battery system included. At the fair this spring, Willem already expressed the expectation to deliver the first battery system at a project with solar panels on water this year.

Wim Nowé from Profloating, provides the floating system. He is pictured here outside at a small demo setup, not yet with the newest solar panels.

Eric van Velzen shows how you can easily hang a USAF transmitter under a solar panel system.

For more information:
Willem Verwoerd and Hans van Luijk
Zon Op Waterbassin
Honderdland 226
2676 LV Maasdijk, the Netherlands
Tel.: +31 (0)6 415 14 033
[email protected]

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