Marine Vehicle Management Technologies: Marine Autopilots, Remote Control Systems, and Simulation Solutions

Autonomous Positioning System for Floating Solar Solution

Dynautics collaborates with Noria Energy on AquaPhi, an autonomous positioning system that enables rotational tracking of the sun By Sarah Simpson / 13 Mar 2024
Autonomous Positioning System for Floating Solar Solution
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Floating solar presents many benefits, offering a source of renewable energy where land is scarce. Instead of covering valuable land, this technology uses large bodies of water, usually lakes and reservoirs, to host arrays of solar panels.

Floating solar studies have also shown multiple water quality and water retention benefits, with a reduction in evaporation and harmful algae blooms.

As a leader in floating solar, California-based Noria Energy develops resilient, renewable energy systems that generate long-term value. Notable achievements include the development of the largest floating solar photovoltaic system in the US (in Healdsburg, California) when built in 2022, and the largest floating system on a hydroelectric reservoir in the western hemisphere, located in Urra, Colombia.

Intelligent uncrewed technology specialists Dynautics started working with Noria in summer 2023, to help develop an initial prototype of Noria’s new product, AquaPhi.

AquaPhi is a patented, autonomous positioning system that enables rotational tracking of the sun. It converts static floating solar into a movable platform by using thrusters on the underside of the array. Current floating solar projects have anchors that restrict the arrays to a fixed orientation, limiting energy production.

Collaborating closely with Noria and working to a tight timeline, Dynautics customised its existing autopilot and control solution for the AquaPhi prototype on a 10m-by-10m floating array with eight thrusters.

The control system regulates the power supplied to each motor and the direction of thrust to counteract wind and water currents.

Thanks to some custom coding, developed by the Dynautics team, the solar array can also be programmed to stay in one location and rotate about its vertical access to track the sun, producing up to 20% more energy throughout the year and optimising site operations with easy repositioning of the array on the water.

Dynautics had the expertise and willingness to provide a customised solution for our floating solar tracker. Their team was very responsive and easy to work with, helping us meet tight deadlines and troubleshoot issues for this novel application of their control technology. The result is a product that will provide more energy and value to our customers.” commented Jimmy Raiford, Head of Technology Development at Noria Energy.

Noria Energy plans to continue product development of AquaPhi for deployment on commercial projects and is keen to continue the partnership with Dynautics. The Dynautics autopilot solution, with its optimised control logic, will enable Noria to accommodate more thrusters going forward for larger islands.

To learn more, contact Dynautics: Visit Website Send Message View Supplier Profile
Posted by Sarah Simpson Connect & Contact