Kyocera supplies solar for sea-based data monitoring in California


The set-up includes solar charge controllers and a battery monitor, which will help provide power for the system’s remote monitoring capabilities.

The Kyoto-based group specially designed the solar panels for long-term use in marine and coastal environments.

The so-called “NOMAD sea buoy” — essentially, an aluminum boat with PV modules and a vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) — will gather information on water temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, phytoplankton density and sensor depth.

“The new NOMAD sea buoy is able to take the ‘pulse’ of a specific area in the ocean,” Kyocera said in an online statement.

The system, which was installed by Florida-based eMarine Systems at the 100-acre Catalina Sea Ranch, includes IoT sensors that wirelessly upload real-time marine data to the cloud, allowing government agencies and scientists to carry out web-based analysis of the ocean.

It remains unclear whether Kyocera’s corrosion-resistant PV modules, which have been IEC-certified by TÜV Rheinland, could be used in floating PV installations.

The company — which plans to eventually install 60MW of floating PV capacity throughout Japan — started building a 13.7MW array on a reservoir east of Tokyo earlier this year, following the completion of several smaller floating projects in the country.