Abstract

Most structures for floating solar photovoltaic systems consist of multiple modules which are made up of many buoys and connection beams. The hydrodynamic analysis on the total structure should be conducted to estimate wave loads on the structure precisely. However, considerable computation cost for the estimation of wave loads on the total structure is needed and the structural analysis using hydrodynamic load results also requests much computation time. Thus, to reduce the computation time, the analysis on the limited number of modules can be conducted instead of the total structure. In this work, the influence on the structural responses according to the number of module structures is studied. The numerical models are configured with the sub-module systems such as 1x1, 2x2, 3x3, • • • , 9x9. The wave loads on the buoys of each structure are analyzed, and the stresses on connection beams are estimated. By utilizing the results of stresses on connection beams, the degree of convergence on structural responses according to the number of modules is analyzed.

Introduction

As the depletion of existing fossil fuels is accelerated, the research and development of renewable energies are increasing globally. There are a wave, tidal current, offshore wind, ocean-thermal energy, solar photovoltaic system, and so on as the renewable energy generation systems related to ocean space and resources. Since the solar photovoltaic generation has the highest energy generation efficiency for the unit area among these energies, the studies on this energy generation on the water are rapidly grown, having other advantages of maintenance and so on.

Most of the solar photovoltaic systems on the water have a type of floating structure consisting of multiple buoys and connection beams. Therefore, to numerically study the floating photovoltaic system, the multi-body analysis must be conducted and the related studies have been preceded (Kim et al., 2018, 2020; Hong et al., 2018). As the generation capability of the system increases, the number of modules consisting of buoys is also grown. For hundreds of floating bodies, a lot of computation time is required. Sometimes, calculations for numerous buoys are not possible with a typical computing performance. Accordingly, for the simplified and fast assessment of the structural safety of structure, the limited number of sub-modules in the structure are analyzed. However, in case of a fewer number of sub-modules, the difference of structural responses could occur in comparison with the case of structure having a large number of modules.

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