Bureau Veritas has awarded Dutch-Norwegian renewable energy company SolarDuck the world’s first Prototype Certification for its floating offshore solar technology, as applied in SolarDuck’s 0.5 MW pilot “Merganser”. It marks a significant step forward in the development of marine renewable energy technologies for offshore applications.

The Merganser project, developed by SolarDuck and supported by RWE, features an offshore floating solar pilot with a capacity of 520 kWp. Comprising six interconnected platforms, the solution is designed to withstand challenging offshore conditions, including high waves, strong winds, and corrosive environments.

The design has been certified to withstand a maximum wave height of 11.6 metres (with a directional ten-year return period) at a water depth of 21.5 metres (MSL) at the North Sea Farmers test site. It will be deployed off the coast of The Hague, the Netherlands, providing a real-world operational environment to evaluate its performance and resilience in the dynamic North Sea.

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From AiP to type certification

Bureau Veritas (BV) has been actively supporting SolarDuck in its pioneering efforts to develop floating solar solutions. The certification of the Merganser prototype follows the approval in principle (AiP) granted for its floating structure.

Throughout the certification process, BV meticulously evaluated the prototype against rules and standards, including guidance note NI631 on the Certification Scheme for Marine Renewable Energy Technologies. These assessments covered various aspects such as the floating structure, mooring system, stability analysis, materials, and electrical safety systems. Moving forward, the technology will be further evaluated for a type certification.

‘A key step in making the technology bankable is obtaining certification of the technology,’ says Don Hoogendoorn, CTO of SolarDuck. ‘As long-standing partners, SolarDuck has cooperated closely together with Bureau Veritas to verify the technology for the harsh North Sea conditions, marking a significant milestone in the development of our offshore floating solar technology.’

Picture: Merganser offshore floating solar platform (photo by SolarDuck).

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