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January February 2020 Marina World

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Pioneering solar plant captures reflections from snow and water The very first large high altitude floating solar park in the Alps has been completed. Poralu Marine took charge of the design, engineering, construction and installation of the entire floating structure upon which the solar panels are positioned. The project site – Lac des Toules – an artificial lake at an altitude of 1,810m (5,938ft) in the town of Bourg-Saint- Pierre in Switzerland – was selected by Romande Energie SA with a view to facilitating and accelerating the country’s energy revolution. Poralu started preliminary studies six years ago to determine the most viable installation process for the pioneering power plant. For the overall project the team had to consider extreme temperatures, down to -30°C (-22°F), anticipate the weight of the snow on the solar panels, assess how much hold the ice would have, and take winds up to 120km/hr (74.5mi/hr) into account. The installation is designed to support 60cm (24in) of ice on the lake and 50cm (20in) of snow. The floating structures are constructed of aluminium alloy and the floats, which were manufactured by Poralu subsidiary Rotax, are made from high density polyethylene. Romande Energie assembled the photovoltaic panels on the structures prior to installing them on the lake. The structure requires only minimal tie-down, is weighted, and Activities afloat in Copenhagen’s old port The City of Copenhagen is transforming the old port area of Nordhavn into a special social hub with a firm focus on access to the water. A key element of the project is a floating activity centre, designed by Danish architects Spektrum Arkitekter with a maritime heritage theme. By rethinking and reinterpreting the traditional wooden boathouse, the designers have succeeded in creating a modern-day variant built on SF Marina floating concrete pontoons. Two clusters of wooden buildings, with large glazed sections, unobtrusively merge the indoor and outdoor spaces. Set against the pier, the buildings recreate a bygone harbour setting, and wooden decking - which is open to the public - runs between the buildings and the water. SF pontoons make the centre adapts itself to the level of the water. The plant, which was up and running by November 2019, will be used to validate the technical and financial feasibility of a larger floating solar park which could cover 35% of the lake’s surface. This structure would have 67,000m² (721,182ft²) of solar panels – the existing trial plant has 2,240m² (24,111ft²). The full size project would also be attached to around 1,000 floats anchored to the banks. an environmentally conscious flexible asset. “Concrete pontoons are at the heart of SF Marina,” explains SF Marina chief executive Michael Sigvardsson. “With minimal interference with water circulation and fish migration, they enable marinas, and special structures like the activity centre, to be developed almost anywhere. They also benefit from a low profile, bringing visitors as close to the water and the elements as possible, and they can easily be reconfigured into new layouts should the need arise.” FLOATING STRUCTURES The existing structure is expected to generate over 800,000 kWh of electricity per year; the annual consumption of around 220 households. The full plant should produce over 22 million kWh, which is up to 50% more than a park with the same dimensions on land. This is down to the reflection of light on snow. As the solar panels are bifacial and transparent, light passes through them enabling them to capture light reflections from both the water and the snow. - January/February 2020 39

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