The floating solar (FPV) business is under rapid development. A report issued by the World Bank called “Where Sun Meets Water” addresses certain challenges regarding operation and maintenance (O&M) with FPV solutions, and one of the most important of these challenges is that of biofouling. The concrete O&M cost of biofouling is yet to be assessed, but reports from SERIS thus far on pilot FPV solutions indicate that the cost could be severe.
Waterborne microorganisms and bacteria attach and multiply to the submerged hull area creating a biofilm. Algae cells also attach in the same way and develop into seaweeds. This ecosystem attracts colonisation by barnacles and other growth within days or months depending on salinity, sunlight, temperature and more.
Experience from marine operations and some research indicates that low powered pulsed ultrasonic frequencies emitted via transducers in direct contact with the hull creates a microscopic environment of moving water molecules underneath the hull. This in turn has proven to be a hostile environment for algae and microorganisms, and thus prevents growth.
This project aims to investigate the biofouling on aluminum based floats protected by an ultrasonic anti-fouling system.
The grant we apply for is the Eurostars call with deadline 4th Nov 2021, managed by NFR: