The results from the collaboration makes Glint Solar the only company in the world to offer an automatic process when finding and analysing different locations to install floating solar energy. Adding NGI's algorithms, the transition from a manual to an automatic process will drastically reduce both time and costs when finding and analysing these locations.

- The floating solar sector is looking for better insight to reduce project risks. We are therefore pleased to have initiated a strong collaboration with NGI on this unique wave model and look forward to continuing the great collaboration as we're accelerating the adoption of solar energy, says Harald Olderheim, CEO at Glint Solar AS.

Quality and insight give the best results

While generally safe, there have been some accidents at floating solar installations caused by extreme weather. As land-based solar developers are increasingly looking to lakes and reservoirs to build out floating solar, there is a need to understand the site’s environmental characteristics with waves being one essential parameter. The clue is to find the best suited places to install this technology.

With funding from the Oslo Regional Research Fund (RRF), Glint Solar and NGI began working on a qualification project to see if it was possible to find scalable solutions or methods for automatic calculation of wave heights and wind directions for floating solar. Input to the methodology is the geometry of the lake as well as 40 years of data on wind conditions.

- The collaboration with Glint Solar comes as a direct result of the strategic investment in capacity on storm surges and wind waves in recent years. We are pleased that NGI has been chosen to contribute with our expertise into a future-oriented industry such as floating solar energy and are looking forward to further collaboration, says Sylfest Glimsdal, Senior specialist at NGI.

The algorithms developed in the project will be used when analysing where it is best to install floating solar technology. Despite the wave model being very new, Glint Solar has already used the new technology with several customers around the world, including a project Glint Solar did for the World Bank in South East Asia.

Why floating solar?

To mitigate climate change, the world needs to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy. In many countries available land for solar energy projects are scarce due to agriculture, protected nature or high population. Utilizing available artificial lakes and reservoirs allows for the installation of solar without land conflict. The water may in many cases also provide additional cooling for the solar panels, increasing the energy yield with several percentage points compared to land-based solar.

Lastly, in certain regions floating solar installations may also reduce a lake’s water evaporation and algae growth, further adding to the overall benefits in what is one of the fastest growing energy segments in the world.

The Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) is a leading international centre for research and consulting within the geosciences. NGI develops optimum solutions for society, and offers expertise on the behaviour of soil, rock and snow and their interaction with the natural and built environment. NGI works within the markets Offshore energy; Building, construction and transportation; Natural hazards, and Environmental Engineering. NGI is a private foundation with office and laboratory in Oslo, branch office in Trondheim, and daughter companies in Houston, Texas, USA, and Perth, Western Australia. NGI was established in 1953.