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Solar energy can also be generated in the sea

The Port Authority of València (PAV) hosts the first prototype of floating solar energy in marine waters

The startup PV NEXUS has launched the first unit of an innovative pilot project for floating solar energy in Spanish marine waters. Specifically, the Port of València hosts this first prototype of floating solar energy. “Valenciaport will support all innovations such as this one, which is a clear step towards decarbonisation and energy transition. This is a further step and obviously has our full support to be able to promote the change of energies in the ports that will help us to achieve the objective of zero emissions in 2030”, emphasised Joan Calabuig, president of the Port Authority of Valencia (PAV).

For Mohamed Amine Koubaa, founder and Development Director of the company, the PVFOILX1-PORTS project – floating solar energy in marine waters – aims to study the initial technical feasibility of a new floating photovoltaic modular system that would allow clean energy to be obtained through solar panels installed on seawater.

After months of design, numerical simulations and manufacturing in the Structures Laboratory of the ETSI de Caminos, Canales y Puertos (Retiro Building) of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, the first phase of experimentation has been launched in the waters of the Valencian dock. To this end, a first small-scale prototype has been installed with a power of less than 1 kWp, monitored and controlled remotely by IoT technology.

From the R+D+i perspective, key functionalities have been studied, such as buoyancy adaptable to wave dynamics and robotisation of its positioning, the results of which are the basis for more advanced studies.

First conclusions of the project

PV NEXUS highlights the value of developing the prototype in a challenging environment such as the marine port, since, beyond the numerical simulations, it allows valuable conclusions to be drawn and offers guarantees for a favourable execution in subsequent pre-commercial phases.

In this sense, the startup is already studying the possibility of developing new larger-scale pilots, including a potential integration for the production of Green Hydrogen, which thanks to the Ports 4.0 programme would open up a wide range of growth possibilities for the project.

Ports 4.0

The project is part of the Ports 4.0 programme of the Port of Valencia and the Valenciaport Foundation. The Ports 4.0 capital fund is the corporate open innovation model adopted by Puertos del Estado and the Spanish Port Authorities to attract, support and facilitate the application of talent and entrepreneurship to the Spanish public and private logistics-port sector in the context of the 4th industrial revolution.

The main objective of the Fund is to actively promote and incorporate disruptive or incremental innovation as an element of competitiveness, efficiency, sustainability, safety and security in the Spanish public and private logistics-port sector to facilitate its transition towards the 4.0 economy. Floating photovoltaic solar energy is set to develop strongly in the coming years, and with initiatives such as Ports 4.0, Spain could become a European benchmark.

This article is shared by courtesy of Valencia Port

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Narjiss Ghajour

Editor-in-Chief of Maritime Professionals
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