Sunlit Sea, a Trondheim-based startup that was established in 2019, has patented a design that consists of two aluminum sheets welded together with a solar panel laminated on top. It claims the prefabricated nature of its floating solar system drives down cost for customers and reduces the environmental impact on installation sites.
The company's website states that the startup's first prototype was developed in 2020 and a fifth iteration was deployed in an “exposed location” in 2022. A timeline on the Sunlit Sea website indicates that the company plans to install its first commercial project, a 936 kWp system, at some point this year.
The floats are supplied in strings and are unfolded on site before being towed out by boat and connected to host larger solar modules. The panels have a peak generation capacity of 537 W each, according to Sunlit Sea. It claims that its product has a minimum guaranteed lifetime of 25 years.
“Sunlit Sea's solution offers excellent cooling, reduced panel degradation, and rapid deployment due to pre-fabrication,” said Sunlit Sea CEO Per Lindberg.
Sunlit Sea said it works closely with the University of Oslo, Norwegian testing facility Stadt Towing Tank, and the Institute for Energy Technology, which started life as Norway's nuclear research entity.
DNV said global floating solar installations will rise from 3 GWp at present to between 20 GW and 25 GW within this decade.
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