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energies

Article
Design and Construction of 1 MW Class Floating PV
Generation Structural System Using FRP Members
Sun-Hee Kim 1 ID
, Soon-Jong Yoon 2 and Wonchang Choi 1, *
1 Department of Architectural Engineering, Gachon University, Seongnam 13120, Korea;
sunnys82@hanmail.net
2 Department of Civil Engineering, Hongik University, Seoul 04066, Korea; sjyoon@hongik.ac.kr
* Correspondence: wchoi@gachon.ac.kr; Tel.: +82-31-750-5335

Received: 22 May 2017; Accepted: 1 August 2017; Published: 3 August 2017

Abstract: The paper investigates overview of construction process of a 1 MW class floating


photovoltaic (PV) generation structural system fabricated with fiber reinforced polymer (FRP)
members. The floating PV generation system consists of unit structures linked by a hinge type
connection of which the effect of bending moment between the unit structures, induced by the
unstable movement of the water surface, was minimized. Moreover, the unit structures were classified
into three types of structures by combining the floating PV generation system and pontoon bridges,
which are constructed to install the electrical equipment and a route of movement for workers. The
structural safety of the connection system among the unit structures and/or the mooring system is
confirmed by referring to the relevant design codes. In addition, structural analysis using the finite
element method was performed to ensure the safety of the floating PV generation structure, and
commercial viability evaluation was performed based on the construction cost. The FRP member
shows superior performance in construction and cost effectiveness in a floating PV generation system.

Keywords: floating PV generation structure; fiber reinforced polymeric plastic (FRP); pultruded FRP;
sheet molding compound FRP; structural design; mooring system

1. Introduction
Recently, environmental problems associated with the excessive use of fossil fuel have become
social issues. As an alternative energy resource, the importance of renewable energy is continuously
rising. Moreover, the demands for facilities to generate renewable energy are also ever increasing. In
Japan, after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster, a law was enacted for the development
of the solar industry, wind power industry, etc. In Korea, the renewable portfolio standard (RPS),
which requires electricity providers to gradually increase the amount of renewable energy sources
such as wind, solar, bioenergy, and geothermal, was enacted to ensure the growth of the renewable
energy market.
To satisfy such demands, a large number of photovoltaic energy generation systems are being
constructed and planned. However, since these facility zones are mostly located on land, some
problems, such as an increase in construction cost and environmental disruption, have occurred [1,2].
Accordingly, the floating photovoltaic (PV) energy generation system has become a desirable renewable
energy alternative in Korea. Song and Choi (2016) [3] analyzed the potential of floating PV systems on
a mine pit lake in Korea. Galdino and Olivieri (2017) [4] present several considerations regarding the
application of floating PV plants in Brazil, whose characteristics make them different from those that
have been deployed in other places, such as Japan and Korea.
Most frames that support the photovoltaic modules in the existing water levels photovoltaic
power generation facilities are made of structural steel. In general, a structural steel frame is vulnerable

Energies 2017, 10, 1142; doi:10.3390/en10081142 www.mdpi.com/journal/energies


Energies 2017, 10, 1142 2 of 14

Most frames that support the photovoltaic modules in the existing water levels photovoltaic
Energies 2017, 10, 1142 2 of 14
power generation facilities are made of structural steel. In general, a structural steel frame is
vulnerable to corrosion, which leads to increased maintenance costs and a decreased life span for the
structure.
to Due
corrosion, to theleads
which heavytounit weightmaintenance
increased of steels, the structural
costs and asystem needslife
decreased a larger
span forbuoyant system,
the structure.
which
Due increases
to the heavy construction
unit weight ofcost. Therefore,
steels, in order
the structural systemto install
needs aalarger
floating photovoltaic
buoyant system, power
which
generationconstruction
increases structure, it cost.
is necessary to come
Therefore, up with
in order a newamaterial
to install floatingwith light weight,
photovoltaic powergood strength,
generation
and high it
structure, durability
is necessary thattoiscome
less affected
up with abynewmoisture.
materialInwiththis light
study, we introduce
weight, the design
good strength, and
and high
construction
durability process
that is lessof a 1 MWbyclass
affected floatingInPV
moisture. thisgeneration
study, wesystem
introduceusingthefiber reinforced
design polymeric
and construction
plastic (FRP)
process of a 1 members. FRP hasPV
MW class floating superior material
generation systemproperties compared
using fiber reinforcedwithpolymeric
those of conventional
plastic (FRP)
structural materials.
members. FRP has FRP has excellent
superior materialcorrosion-resistance
properties compared andwithhigh those
specific
of strength and stiffness
conventional [5],
structural
both of which
materials. FRPare hashighly appreciated
excellent for the designand
corrosion-resistance andhigh
fabrication
specificof floatingand
strength PV stiffness
generation [5],systems.
both of
In this are
which paper,
highlytheappreciated
floating PVfor generation
the designsystem was fabricated
and fabrication by PFRP
of floating (pultruded systems.
PV generation FRP) andInSMC this
(sheet molding
paper, the floating compound) FRP; FRPs
PV generation were
system wasmade of polyester
fabricated by PFRP resin and E-glass
(pultruded fiber.
FRP) and SMC (sheet
The compound)
molding 1 MW classFRP; floating
FRPsPV generation
were made of complex
polyesterisresin
composed of 105
and E-glass unit structures. The unit
fiber.
structures
The 1 MWare connected
class floating to each other on complex
PV generation the surface of the water.
is composed Moreover,
of 105 the 1 MW
unit structures. class
The unit floating
structures
PV connected
are generationtocomplex
each other is the
on first commercialized
the surface of the water.system constructed
Moreover, the 1 MWat aclass
site with such
floating PVa generation
large scale
in Korea.is the first commercialized system constructed at a site with such a large scale in Korea.
complex

2. Design of
2. Design of 11 MW
MW Class
Class Floating
Floating PV
PV Generation
Generation System
System
The
The floating
floating PV
PV generation
generation complex
complex is is constructed
constructed by
by connecting
connecting unit
unit structures
structures using
using bolts
bolts or
or
steel
steel bars
bars to
to minimize
minimize the
the transfer
transfer of
of any
any bending
bending moment
moment induced
induced byby the
the unstable
unstable movement
movement ofof the
the
water
water surface.
surface. Unit
Unit structures
structures fabricated
fabricated on
on the
the ground
ground are
are connected
connected onon the
the water
water and moored using
and moored using
an
an anchor
anchor system.
system. In this paper, the
the structural
structural composition
composition ofof the
the system,
system, connection
connection method
method for
for the
the
unit structures, and mooring method of the 1 MW class floating PV generation complex
unit structures, and mooring method of the 1 MW class floating PV generation complex considering considering
the construction site conditions
conditions are
are discussed.
discussed.

2.1. Design of
2.1. Design of Unit
Unit Structures
Structures
Unit
Unit structures
structures consist
consist of
of solar
solar modules,
modules, structural
structural systems
systems to
to support
support the
the PV
PV modules
modules (which
(which
are composed of FRP structural members), a floating system, and connecting devices, as
are composed of FRP structural members), a floating system, and connecting devices, as shown shown in
Figure 1. 1.
in Figure

Figure 1. Composition of unit structure [6].


Figure 1. Composition of unit structure [6].
Energies 2017, 10, 1142 3 of 14
Energies 2017, 10, 1142 3 of 14
Energies 2017, 10, 1142 3 of 14
TheFRP
The FRP structural
structuralmembers
membersare are classified
classified as as vertical
vertical members,
members, supporting
supportingmembers
membersused usedto to
assemble Thethe
FRP structural
solar module, members
solar are classified
module connectingas vertical
membersmembers,
used supporting
to assemble members
the solarused to
module
assemble the solar module, solar module connecting members used to assemble the solar module
andassemble
and foothold,
foothold,
the solar module,
foothold
foothold members
members
solar
to
module connecting
toassemble
assemble thefootholds
the footholdsmembers used to the
andincrease
and increase assemble the solar
horizontal
the horizontal
module
stiffness
stiffness ofthe
of the
and foothold,
structures, and foothold
main members
members to to assemble
assemble thethe footholds
other members and increase
and the the horizontal
buoy. All stiffness
structural of the
members
structures, and main members to assemble the other members and the buoy. All structural members
arestructures,
are connectedand
connected using
using
main members
stainless
stainless steel
tobolts.
steel assemble
bolts. The
the
Thelength otherofmembers
length and the
thestructural
of the structural buoy. All
members
members
structural
isisset
setto
to12.6
12.6mmembers
mfor
foreasy
easy
are connected
handlingduring using
duringfabricationstainless
fabricationof steel
ofthe bolts.
thestructural The length
structural system. of the structural members is set to 12.6 m for easy
handling
handling during fabrication of the structuralsystem.
system.
The
TheThe1 MW
1 MW class
class floating
floating PV generation
PVPVgeneration complexconsists
consists ofunit
unitstructures
structuresthatthatare
are12.6
12.6 m in
1 MW class floating generationcomplex
complex consists of of unit structures that are 12.6 mminin
lengthand
length and11.5
11.5m min in width.
width.TheTheunit
unit structurehas has a 300W W generationcapacity,
capacity,in inwhich
which 33solarsolar
length and 11.5 m in width. The unitstructure
structure hasaa300 300 W generation
generation capacity, in which 3333solar
panels
panels with
with dimension
dimension of 1966
of of
1966 mm
mm × 1000
× 1000 mm per panel are installed.
panels with dimension 1966 mm × 1000mmmmper perpanel
panelareareinstalled.
installed.
2.2. Complex Composition
2.2. 2.2.
Complex Composition
Complex Composition
The 1 MW class floating PV generation complex was constructed at Dangjin-city, Korea. The
TheThe1 MW
1 MW class floating
class PVPVgeneration
floating generationcomplex
complexwas
was constructed Dangjin-city,Korea.
constructed at Dangjin-city, Korea.The
The
construction site of the 1 MW class floating PV generation complex is shown in Figure 2.
construction sitesite
construction of the 1 MW
of the 1 MWclass floating
class floatingPV
PVgeneration
generationcomplex
complex is shown in Figure
shown in Figure2.2.

Figure 2. Construction site.


Figure 2. Construction site.
Figure 2. Construction site.
The 1 MW class floating PV generation complex consists of 105 unit structures, which are
The 11 MW
classified
The intoclass
MW classfloating
three types:PV
floating generation
A,PV B, generation complex
and C types. The
complex consists
typeofis105
A consists unit
the
of 105structures,
basic model,
unit which are
the B type
structures, classified
is the
which are
into three types:
combination ofA,
theB, and
A-type C types.
and a The A
pontoon type is
bridge, theandbasic
the model,
C type the
is
classified into three types: A, B, and C types. The A type is the basic model, the B type is the B
the type is the
structure combination
used to install of
the A-type and a
electrical devices
combination pontoon
of the such
A-type bridge,
as the and
andconverter,
a pontoon the C type
as bridge,
shown inandis the
Figurestructure
the 3.C The used
typepontoon to install electrical
bridge is constructed
is the structure devices
to
used to install
such as the
install
electrical theconverter,
electrical
devices as
as shown
such equipment inand
Figure
the converter, as3.shown
is also The pontoon
used asinmovement
Figurebridge is constructed
route
3. The to install
for the workers.
pontoon bridge isThe the electrical
generation
constructed to
equipment
capacity and
of is
each also
unitused as movement
structure type is route
given for
in the
Table workers.
1. The The
total generation
arrangement
install the electrical equipment and is also used as movement route for the workers. The generation capacity
of the of each
generationunit
complex
structure
capacity composition
oftype
eachis unit is shown
givenstructure
in 1.inThe
Table type Figure 4. arrangement
is total
given in Table 1. The of the generation
total complex
arrangement composition
of the generationis
shown incomposition
complex Figure 4. is shown in Figure 4.

(a) (b) (c)


Figure 3. Unit structure (a) A type (basic mode); (b) B type (with foothold); (c) C type (to install electric
(a) (b) (c)
device) [6].
Figure
Figure3.3.Unit
Unitstructure
structure(a)
(a)AAtype
type(basic
(basicmode);
mode);(b)
(b)BBtype
type(with
(withfoothold);
foothold);(c)
(c)CCtype
type(to
(toinstall
installelectric
electric
device) [6].
device) [6].
Energies 2017, 10, 1142 4 of 14

Energies 2017, 10, 1142 4 of 14


Table 1. No. and generation capacity of each unit structure.
Table 1. No. and generation capacity of each unit structure.
TypeType A-Type
A-Type B-Type C-Type
B-Type C-Type
Energies 2017, 10, 1142 4 of 14
No. of
No.unit
of structure (EA) (EA)
unit structure 89 89 66 1212
No. No.
of solar module
Tableper
1. unit
No. structure
and (EA)
generation capacity
of solar module per unit structure (EA) of 33
each unit
33 30
structure.
30 2929
Generation capacity per unit structure (kW) 9.9 9.0 8.7
Generation capacityType per unit structure (kW) A-Type 9.9 B-Type 9.0 C-Type
8.7
No. of unit structure (EA) 89 6 12
No. of solar module per unit structure (EA) 33 30 29
Generation capacity per unit structure (kW) 9.9 9.0 8.7

Figure 4. Composition of floating PV generation complex (Unit: mm).


Figure 4. Composition of floating PV generation complex (Unit: mm).
The finite element (FE) analyses of the unit structures shown in Figure 3 are conducted using the
Figure 4. Composition of floating PV generation complex (Unit: mm).
Theintelligent
most finite element
design (FE)
andanalyses
analysis of the unit
system structures
(MIDAS shown
Civil 2012) inThe
[7]. Figure 3 are
results of conducted using
the FE analyses arethe
most intelligent
used The finite element (FE) analyses of the unit structures shown in Figure 3 are conducted using the are
for design
structural and
design; analysis
the system
safety of the (MIDAS
unit Civil
structures 2012)
is [7].
estimatedThebyresults
the of the
allowable FE analyses
stress design
(ASD)
used most according
for structural to the Structural
intelligent design;
design and Plastic
theanalysis
safety of Design
the
system unit Manual
Civil[8].
structures
(MIDAS isThe
2012) mechanical
estimated
[7]. properties
by the
The results ofallowable and allowable
stress
the FE analyses design
are
stress
(ASD)used offorthe
according FRP
to structural
thedesign;
structural members
Structural
the arethe
Plastic
safety of given
unit in
Design Tables[8].
Manual
structures 2isandThe3,mechanical
respectively
estimated [9]. In addition,
properties
by the allowable and
stress the FE
allowable
design
analysis
(ASD)
stress model
of theaccording is shown
FRP structural in FigurePlastic
to the Structural
members 5.are given
DesigninManual
Tables[8]. The mechanical
2 and properties
3, respectively [9]. Inand allowable
addition, the FE
stress
analysis of the is
model FRP structural
shown members
in Figure 5. are given in Tables 2 and 3, respectively [9]. In addition, the FE
analysis model is shown in Figure 5.Table 2. Mechanical properties.
Table 2. Mechanical properties.
Mechanical Properties PFRP
Table 2. Mechanical properties.
SMC FRP
Elastic modulus (E, GPa) 33.28 17.33
Mechanical Properties
Mechanical Properties PFRP
PFRP SMC SMC
FRP FRP
Tensile strength (ft, MPa) 402.58 183.85
Elastic
ElasticShear
modulusmodulus (f(E,
(E, GPa)
strength GPa)
v, MPa)
33.28
33.28
79.20 17.33
34.4717.33
TensileTensile
strength (ft , MPa)
strength (ft, MPa) 402.58
402.58 183.85 183.85
Poisson’s ratio (ν, mm/mm) 0.25 0.25
Shear Shear
strength (fv , MPa)
strength (fv, MPa)2 79.20
79.20 34.47 34.47
Unit weight
Poisson’s ratio (ν, mm/mm)
(G, kN/m ) 18.42
0.25
18.420.25
Poisson’s ratio (ν, mm/mm) 0.25 0.25
2) 18.42
Unit weight (G, kN/m
Unit weight (G, kN/m 2) 18.42 18.42 18.42
Table 3. Allowable stress.
Table
Allowable Stress 3. Allowable
Table3. Allowable stress.
PFRPstress. SMC FRP S.F.
Tension (MPa)
Allowable Stress 201.29
PFRP SMC 91.93
FRP 2.0
S.F.
Allowable Stress
Compression (MPa) PFRP
134.19 SMC FRP
61.28 S.F.
Tension (MPa) 201.29 91.93 2.03.0
Shear
Tension (MPa)
(MPa)
Compression (MPa) 26.40
201.29
134.19 11.49
91.93
61.28 3.0
3.02.0
Compression
Flexure (MPa)
(MPa)
Shear (MPa) 134.19
161.03
26.40 61.28
73.54
11.49 3.0
3.02.5
Shear (MPa) 26.40 11.49 3.0
Flexure (MPa) 161.03 73.54 2.5
Flexure (MPa) 161.03 73.54 2.5

(a)
(a)

Figure 5. Cont.
Energies 2017, 10, 1142 5 of 14
Energies 2017, 10, 1142 5 of 14

(b)

(c)
Figure 5. Finite element (FE) analysis model; (a) A type; (b) B type; (c) C type.
Figure 5. Finite element (FE) analysis model; (a) A type; (b) B type; (c) C type.
Wind load for the design of the unit structures is determined based on the wind speed of 30 m/sec
according
Wind load to the
for requirements
the design of in the
the Korean Building Code
unit structures and Commentary
is determined based [10]. Thewind
on the designspeed
wind of 30
m/secload at the construction
according site (Dangjin-city,
to the requirements Korea) Building
in the Korean is suggestedCodein the
andKorean Building[10].
Commentary Code and
The design
Commentary [10]. In addition, snow load (0.4 kN/m 2) is applied on the PV module and foothold.
wind load at the construction site (Dangjin-city, Korea) is suggested in the Korean Building Code and
Crowd load (4.9 kN/m2) is additionally applied on the foothold. Snow load and crowd load are
Commentary [10]. In addition, snow load (0.4 kN/m2 ) is applied on the PV module and foothold.
determined according to the Korean Building Code and Commentary [10] and the Korean Bridge
Crowd load (4.9 kN/m2 ) is additionally applied on the foothold. Snow load and crowd load are
Design Specification [11].
determined Fromaccording to theresults,
the FE analysis Korean Building
it was Code
found that theand
ratioCommentary
of the maximum [10] andtothe
stress theKorean
allowableBridge
Design Specification [11].
stress occurring on the A-type structure is 47.73%; on the B-type structure this value is 45.68%; and
From
on the FEstructure
the C-type analysisthis
results,
valueitiswas found
46.02% that the
as shown ratio4.ofShear
in Table the maximum
stress on thestress
PFRPto the allowable
member in
stress occurring
each on the A-type
type of structure was thestructure is 47.73%;
critical stress governingon the
thestructural
B-type structure
behavior.this value according
Therefore, is 45.68%; and
to the
on the FE analysis
C-type structureresults,
this it was also
value found as
is 46.02% thatshown
the strength
in Tableand4.stiffness of the PFRP
Shear stress on theand SMCmember
PFRP FRP in
structural members are acceptable for the design and fabrication of the system.
each type of structure was the critical stress governing the structural behavior. Therefore, according
to the FE analysis results, it was also found that the strength and stiffness of the PFRP and SMC FRP
Table 4. FE analysis results.
structural members are acceptable for the design and fabrication of the system.
A-Type B-Type C-Type Allowable Stress
Stress
(MPa) (MPa) (MPa)
Table 4. FE analysis results. (MPa)
PFRP 1.32 2.89 2.89 2.89
Tension
Stress SMC FRP 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
A-Type (MPa) B-Type (MPa) C-Type (MPa) Allowable Stress (MPa)
PFRPPFRP 1.79
1.32 6.90
2.89 6.94 2.89 6.94 2.89
Compression
Tension SMC
SMC FRP FRP 0.001.52 1.42
0.00 1.41 0.00 1.41 0.00
PFRPPFRP 1.79
12.60 6.90
12.06 12.15 6.94 12.15 6.94
Compression
Shear SMCSMC
FRP FRP 1.52
0.36 1.42
1.53 2.17 1.41 2.17 1.41
PFRP 12.60 12.06 12.15 12.15
Shear PFRP 25.86 24.36 24.59 2.17 24.59 2.17
Flexure SMC FRP 0.36 1.53
SMC FRP
PFRP 2.51
25.86 8.43
24.36 11.91 24.59 11.91 24.59
Flexure
SMC FRP
Remark 2.51
OK 8.43
OK OK 11.91 - 11.91
Remark OK OK OK -
2.3. Design of Connection System
2.3. Design
Theof1Connection SystemPV generation complex is composed of unit structures that are connected
MW class floating
using
The 1 the
MWconnection system
class floating PV shown in Figure
generation 6. The
complex connectionof
is composed system is devisedthat
unit structures to minimize
are connected
welding and increase the fatigue resistance. Moreover, a C-shape device made of stainless steel
using the connection system shown in Figure 6. The connection system is devised to minimize welding
(STS304), which has high corrosion resistance, is connected using stainless steel bolts. The C-shape
and increase the fatigue resistance. Moreover, a C-shape device made of stainless steel (STS304), which
device can be made by cutting a stainless steel plate. This connection system behaves as a bending
has high corrosion resistance, is connected using stainless steel bolts. The C-shape device can be made
moment free system on the fluctuating water surface.
by cutting a stainless steel plate. This connection system behaves as a bending moment free system on
the fluctuating water surface.
Energies 2017, 10, 1142 6 of 14

Energies 2017, 10, 1142 6 of 14


Energies 2017, 10, 1142 6 of 14

(a)
(a) (b)
(b)
Figure6. 6.Connection
Figure Connectionsystem
system between
between unit
unit structures;
structures; (a)
(a) C-shape
C-shapedevice;
device;(b)(b)Member
Memberconnected
connected
Figure 6. Connection system between unit structures; (a) C-shape device; (b) Member connected with
with
with C-shape
C-shape device.
device.
C-shape device.
Structural
Structural designusing
design usingthe
theconnection
connection system
system suggested
suggestedisisconducted
conductedaccording
according totothethe
Pre-Standard
Pre-Standard
forStructural
Load and design using
Resistance the
Factor connection
Design of system
Pultruded suggested
Fiber is
Reinforced conducted
for Load and Resistance Factor Design of Pultruded Fiber Reinforced Polymer Structures Polymer according
Structures to [12].
[12].the
Pre-Standard for
American Society Load and
of Civil Resistance
Engineers Factor
(ASCE) [12]Design
suggestsofthat
Pultruded Fiber
the connection
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) [12] suggests that the connection system may use the Reinforced
system may use Polymer
the
minimum requirements
Structures for bolted connection geometries, as shown in that
Tablethe 5. connection
In Table 5, end
minimum [12]. Americanfor
requirements Society of Civil
bolted Engineers
connection (ASCE) [12]
geometries, suggests
as shown in Table 5. In Table system
5, end
maydistance,
use theedge distance,
minimum stagger distance, pitch, and gage are given; notations are illustrated
in Tablein5.in Figure 7. 5,
distance, edge distance,requirements for bolted
stagger distance, connection
pitch, and gage aregeometries, as shown
given; notations are illustrated InFigure
Table 7.
endIndistance,
addition, edge
bolt shear strength,
distance, pin-bearing
stagger strength,
distance,strength, netgage
pitch, and tension
are strength,
given; shear-outare
notations strength, and in
illustrated
In addition, bolt shear strength, pin-bearing net tension strength, shear-out strength, and
block7.shear
Figure strengthbolt
In addition, must alsostrength,
shear be considered. The final
pin-bearing results net
strength, of the designstrength,
tension of connection
shear-outsystem are
strength,
block shear strength must also be considered. The final results of the design of connection system are
given in Table 6.
and block shear strength must also be considered. The final results of the design of connection system
given in Table 6.
are given in Table 6.
Table 5. Minimum requirements of bolted connection geometries.
Table 5. Minimum requirements of bolted connection geometries.
Table 5. Minimum requirements of bolted
Minimum connection
Required geometries.
Distance of Suggested
Notation Definition Minimum Required Distance of Suggested Remark
Notation Definition Spacing (mm) Connection (mm) Remark
Minimum Required Distance of Suggested
Notation
e1,min End distanceDefinition
of all connections Spacing
2.0d (mm) Connection (mm) Remark
Spacing (mm) 20 40 (mm)
Connection OK
e1,min
ee2,min End End
distance
Edge ofdistance
distance all connections
of all connections 2.0d
1.5d
2.0d 20
2015 2040
40 OKOK
OK
1,min
es2,min
e2,minmin EdgeEdge distance
distance
Pitch distance 1.5d
1.5d
4.0d 15 15
40 20
5020 OKOK
OK
smin Pitch distance 4.0d 40 50 OK
sminggmin Pitch
Gage distance
distance
Gage distance 4.0d
4.0d
4.0d 40
4040 5050
50 OKOK
OK
min
ggs,min
gmins,min Gage
Gage spacing with
Gagewith
spacing staggeredbolts
distance
staggered bolts 2.0d
4.0d
2.0d 2020
40 50
5050 OKOK
OK
ls,min Stagger distance 2.8d 28 74 OK
ls,min
gs,min Stagger
Gage spacing withdistance
staggered bolts 2.8d
2.0d 28
20 7450 OKOK
ls,min Stagger distance 2.8d 28 74 OK

Figure 7. Connection geometry and definition for a row of bolts [12].


Figure 7. Connection geometry and definition for a row of bolts [12].

Figure 7. Connection geometry and definition for a row of bolts [12].


Energies 2017, 10, 1142 7 of 14
Energies 2017, 10, 1142 7 of 14

Table 6. Result of design on the connection system.


Table 6. Result of design on the connection system.
Step Consideration Load Note
Step Consideration
Bolt failure (kN) Load65.16 Note
N/A
Bolt failure (kN)
Pin-bearing failure (kN) 65.16128.83 N/A N/A
Checking the failure mode Pin-bearing failure
Net tension failure (kN)(kN) 128.8358.24 N/A N/A
Checking the failure mode Net tension failure (kN) 58.24 N/A
Shear-out
Shear-out failure
failure (kN)(kN) 101.21101.21 N/A N/A
Block shear failure (kN)(kN)
Block shear failure 57.8157.81 Failure
Failure mode
mode
Critical
Critical loadload
(kN)(kN) 57.2457.24 N/A N/A
Design
Designloadload
(kN)(kN) 46.2546.25 A A
Connection design Applied load (kN) 29.82 B
Connection design Applied load (kN) 29.82 B
Remark OK -
Remark
A/B 1.55 OK - -
A/B 1.55 -
2.4. Design of Mooring System
2.4. Design of Mooring System
The mooring systems of the floating structures that are installed at the dam or reservoir may be
The mooring systems of the floating structures that are installed at the dam or reservoir may be
classified into gravity type, anchor-tension type, semi-rigid type, tension type, and modified type [13].
classified into gravity type, anchor-tension type, semi-rigid type, tension type, and modified type
In the mooring systems, the anchor-tension type using an anchor is generally applied. However, the
[13]. In the mooring systems, the anchor-tension type using an anchor is generally applied. However,
fluctuation of the water level at the construction site of the 1 MW class floating PV generation complex
the fluctuation of the water level at the construction site of the 1 MW class floating PV generation
is less severe than that of a dam or reservoir. The tension type mooring system is not applicable to the
complex is less severe than that of a dam or reservoir. The tension type mooring system is not
present construction site. Therefore, for the safe and commercial design of the mooring system, the
applicable to the present construction site. Therefore, for the safe and commercial design of the
anchor-tension type, which is fixed with a chemical anchor and cable to the wall of the waterway in
mooring system, the anchor-tension type, which is fixed with a chemical anchor and cable to the wall
the cooling water intake channel, is adopted.
of the waterway in the cooling water intake channel, is adopted.
The anchor-tension type mooring system for the 1 MW class floating PV generation complex is
The anchor-tension type mooring system for the 1 MW class floating PV generation complex is
shown in Figure 8. In Figure 8, the level of the chemical anchor is similar to the level of the PFRP
shown in Figure 8. In Figure 8, the level of the chemical anchor is similar to the level of the PFRP
member; therefore, cable (wire rope) is attached to maintain a constant tension force in the cable, as
member; therefore, cable (wire rope) is attached to maintain a constant tension force in the cable, as
shown in Figure 8. The level of the PFRP member is determined by referring to the observation source,
shown in Figure 8. The level of the PFRP member is determined by referring to the observation source,
which indicates the average water level of the site.
which indicates the average water level of the site.

Figure 8. Anchor mooring system.


Figure 8. Anchor mooring system.
Connection methods between the chemical anchor or the PFRP member and the wire rope are
Connection
shown methods
in Figure 9. betweendevices
All connection the chemical anchor
are made or the PFRP
of stainless member and
steel (STS304), theiswire
which ropebent
cut and are
shown in Figure 9. All connection
from stainless steel plate. devices are made of stainless steel (STS304), which is cut and bent
from stainless steel plate.
Energies 2017, 10, 1142 8 of 14
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Energies 2017, 10, 1142 8 of 14

(a) (b)
Figure 9. Connection of mooring system; (a) Between chemical anchor and cable; (b) Between PFRP
Figure 9. Connection of mooring system; (a) Between chemical anchor and cable; (b) Between PFRP
member and cable.
member and cable.
(a) (b)
According to the
Figure Ministry
9. Connection of Land,
of mooring system;Infrastructure,
(a) Between chemicaland Transport,
anchor and cable; (b)Korea
Between(2008),
PFRP the criteria
According
concerning to the
structures,
member Ministry
and facilities,
cable. of
etc.,Land, Infrastructure,
of a floating maritime andtypeTransport,
is specifiedKorea by(2008),
the weight the criteria
of the
concerning structures, facilities, etc., of a floating maritime type is specified
anchor and the type of cable. The weight of the anchor and the type of rope for floating type maritime by the weight of the
According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport, Korea (2008), the criteria
anchor and the type
structures concerning of
are determined cable. The weight of the anchor and the type of rope for floating type maritime
structures,according to ofthe
facilities, etc., flowchart
a floating shown
maritime type in Figure by
is specified 10.theInweight
Figureof 10,
the the total
structuresanchor
resistance areisdetermined
(R) the type ofaccording
determined
and by combining
cable. to the
The weight the
of flowchart
the wind andshown
the typein
anchorresistance Figure
(of rope
), flow 10. Intype
Figure
resistance
for floating ( 10,
maritime theeffect
), and total
resistance
of (R)ofisthe
determined
structures
the shape are determined
structure by
( combining
)according
as giventoin the
the wind resistance
flowchart
Equation shown in(R
(1). a ), flow
Figure resistance
10. In Figure 10,(R w ),total
the and effect of
resistance
the shape of (R) is determined
the structure (Rv ) as by combining
given the wind(1).
in Equation resistance ( ), flow resistance ( ), and effect
of the shape of the structure ( ) as given in Equation (1).
R= + + (1)
q
R = R a 2 + ( R w + R v )2 (1)
R= + + (1)

Figure 10. Flowchart for mooring system design [2].


Figure 10. Flowchart for mooring system design [2].
In Figure 2, the construction site can be seen to be separated from an existing bridge. In the
design of the system, the effect of the horizontal and vertical directions of the water flow should be
In Figure 2, the construction site can be seen to be separated from an existing bridge. In the design
considered. The result of the mooring system design is given in Table 7. In Table 7, the diameter of
of the system, the effect
the cable of the
is 10 mm; horizontal
the safety andofvertical
factor (S.F.) the cabledirections
is 2. of the water flow should be considered.
The result of the mooring Figure
system10. Flowchart for mooring system design [2].
design is given in Table 7. In Table 7, the diameter of the cable is
10 mm; the safety factor (S.F.) of the cable is 2.
In Figure 2, the construction site can be seen to be separated from an existing bridge. In the
design of the system, the effect of the horizontal and vertical directions of the water flow should be
considered. The result of the mooring system design is given in Table 7. In Table 7, the diameter of
the cable is 10 mm; the safety factor (S.F.) of the cable is 2.
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Energies 2017, 10, 1142 9 of 14
Table 7. Result of mooring system design.
Table Result of
7. Result
Table 7. of mooring
mooring system
system design.
design.
Location Left Right
Location
Location
Direction Horizontal Left
Left Vertical HorizontalRight
Right Vertical
TotalDirection
Direction (kN)
resistance Horizontal
Horizontal
556.15 Vertical
Vertical
13.92 Horizontal
Horizontal
136.61 Vertical
Vertical
13.82
Total resistance
Totalstrength
resistance (kN)
(kN) (kN) 556.15
556.15 13.92
13.92 136.61
136.61 13.82
13.82
Design of cable 20.97 9.31 20.97 9.31
Design strength of cable (kN) 20.97 9.31 20.97 9.31
Design No.strength of cable
No.ofofcable
cable (EA) (kN)
(EA) 20.97 38
38 9.31 20.97 12
12 9.31
Mooring
No. of cableload
Mooring load (kN) (kN)
(EA) 796.74
796.74 38 363.09
363.09 251.66
251.66 12 111.72
111.72
Remark OK OK OK OK
Mooring load (kN)
Remark 796.74
OK 363.09
OK 251.66
OK 111.72
OK
Remark OK OK OK OK
The
Thetotal
totalnumber
numberof ofcables
cablesinstalled
installed isis60;
60; this
this isismore
morethanthan specified
specified by
by the
the design
design results
results (50).
(50).
The plan
TheThe view
plantotal
view of
ofthe
numberthemooringcablessystem
mooring
of systemisisis
installed given
given ininFigure
60; this Figure
is more 11.
11. At
than each
eachmooring
Atspecified
mooring
by thepoint,
point,
designthe
the number
number
results of
(50).of
connected
connected
The cables
plan viewcables at the
at the
of the anchor is
anchorsystem
mooring between
is between one and
one and
is given three, and
three, 11.
in Figure andAtthe length
theeach
lengthof the cable
of the cable
mooring is determined
point,isthe
determined
number of by
by
the
thedistance
distance
connected between
cables at thethe
between the anchor
anchoranchor and
andthe
is betweenthePFRP
PFRP
one member.
and member.
three, and the length of the cable is determined by
the distance between the anchor and the PFRP member.

Figure 11. Mooring system of 1 MW class floating PV generation system.


Figure 11. Mooring system of 1 MW class floating PV generation system.
Figure 11. Mooring system of 1 MW class floating PV generation system.
3. Construction of 1 MW Class Floating PV Generation System
3. Construction of 1 MW Class Floating PV Generation System
3. Construction of 1 MW Class Floating PV Generation System
The 1 MW class floating PV generation complex consists of 105 unit structures, as mentioned
The 1 MW class floating PV generation complex consists of 105 unit structures, as mentioned
earlier.
The The
1 MWconstruction
class floatingprocess of the 1 MW
PV generation class floating
complex consists PVofgeneration complex isasclassified
105 unit structures, mentioned into
earlier. The construction process of the 1 MW class floating PV generation complex is classified into
the following
earlier. steps: “fabrication,”
The construction process of the in which
1 MWeach
classunit structure
floating is fabricated
PV generation on theisground,
complex classified“lifting
into
the following steps: “fabrication,” in which each unit structure is fabricated on the ground, “lifting
and
the launching,”
following in which
steps: the fabricated
“fabrication,” in whichunit structure
each is lifted and
unit structure launchedon
is fabricated onto
thethe water“lifting
ground, surface,
and launching,” in which the fabricated unit structure is lifted and launched onto the water surface,
andlaunching,”
and “mooring,”in inwhich
whichthe each unit structure
fabricated and moor
unit structure is is connected
lifted using anchors
and launched and
onto the cables.
water surface,
and “mooring,” in which each unit structure and moor is connected using anchors and cables.
In the fabrication
and “mooring,” in whichprocess, unit
each unit structures
structure andare
moorfabricated usingusing
is connected FRP members,
anchors andwhich are cut at
cables.
In the fabrication process, unit structures are fabricated using FRP members, which are cut at the
the In
manufacturing
the fabricationfacility.
process,Atunit
first,structures
plane frames are fabricated
are fabricated using onFRPthe buoys. SMC
members, whichFRP are vertical
cut at
manufacturing facility. At first, plane frames are fabricated on the buoys. SMC FRP vertical members,
members,
the PV modules,
manufacturing footholds,
facility. At first,etc., areframes
plane assembled in sequence.
are fabricated onThe
thefabrication
buoys. SMC process (A-type)
FRP vertical
PV modules, footholds, etc., are assembled in sequence. The fabrication process (A-type) is shown in
is shown PV
members, in Figure 12. footholds, etc., are assembled in sequence. The fabrication process (A-type)
modules,
Figure 12.
is shown in Figure 12.

(a) (b)
(a) (b)

Figure 12. Cont.


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2017, 10,
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14

(c) (d)

(e) (f)
Figure 12. Fabrication process; (a) Fabricating plane frame; (b) Assembling buoy; (c) Assembling
Figure 12. Fabrication process; (a) Fabricating plane frame; (b) Assembling buoy; (c) Assembling
foothold; (d) Assembling SMC FRP member; (e) Assembling module support frame; (f) Assembling
foothold; (d) Assembling SMC FRP member; (e) Assembling module support frame; (f) Assembling
solar module.
solar module.

In the lifting and launching process, a crane is used to lift and launch the unit structures.
In the unexpected
To prevent lifting and launching
accidentsprocess,
during athecrane is used
tilting to lift and
and lifting launch the
operation, unitpoints
lifting structures.
in theTo prevent
structure
unexpected
are selected accidents during
by referring theFE
to the tilting and lifting
analysis results.operation, lifting
The lifting andpoints in theprocesses
launching structure are
areselected
shown inby
referring
Figure 13. to the FE analysis results. The lifting and launching processes are shown in Figure 13.

(a) (b)
Figure 13. Lifting and launching process; (a) Lifting; (b) Launching.
Figure 13. Lifting and launching process; (a) Lifting; (b) Launching.

In the mooring process, all unit structures are connected using the connection system shown in
Figure 6; chemical anchors are fixed on the wall of the waterway. Chemical anchors installed on the
wall are connected to the cables as shown in Figure 9. The mooring process is also shown in Figure 14.
Finally, the 1 MW class floating PV generation complex constructed at the site is shown in Figure 15.

(a)
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Figure 13. Lifting and launching process; (a) Lifting; (b) Launching.

Energies 2017, 10, 1142 11 of 14


(a)
Energies 2017, 10, 1142 11 of 14

(b)
(b)

(c)
(c)
Figure 14. Mooring process; (a) Connecting; (b) Anchoring; (c) Mooring.
Figure 14. Mooring process; (a) Connecting; (b) Anchoring; (c) Mooring.
Figure 14. Mooring process; (a) Connecting; (b) Anchoring; (c) Mooring.

(a)
(a)

(b)
(b) complex; (a) Side view; (b) Top view.
Figure 15. 1 MW class floating PV generation
Figure 15. 1 MW class floating PV generation complex; (a) Side view; (b) Top view.
In Figure 15. 1 MW
the mooring class
process, allfloating PV generation
unit structures complex;
are connected (a)the
using Side view; (b)system
connection Top view.shown in
FigureIn6;the
chemical anchors are fixed on the wall of the waterway. Chemical anchors
mooring process, all unit structures are connected using the connection system showninstalled on the
in
wall
Figure 6; chemical anchors are fixed on the wall of the waterway. Chemical anchors installed on 14.
are connected to the cables as shown in Figure 9. The mooring process is also shown in Figure the
Finally,
wall arethe 1 MW class
connected floating
to the cablesPV generation
as shown complex
in Figure constructed
9. The mooring at the site
process is is shown
also in Figure
shown 15.14.
in Figure
Finally, the 1 MW class floating PV generation complex constructed at the site is shown in Figure 15.
Energies 2017, 10, 1142 12 of 14

4. Commercial Viability Evaluation of 1 MW Class Floating PV Generation System


In Korea, the electricity generated in power plants has to be sold to the Korea Electric Power
Corporation (KEPCO) at a cost determined by the government. Therefore, the commercial viability
evaluation of the 1 MW class floating PV generation complex through the generated electricity is
not appropriate.
In this paper, structural analyses with various construction materials using the finite element
method were performed to ascertain the safety of the floating PV generation structure, and a
commercial viability evaluation was conducted based on the cost of materials. The construction
materials used in the fabrication of floating PV generation structures are steel, aluminum, FRP, etc.
The material properties of steel, aluminum, and FRP are summarized in Table 8. The allowable
stress of steel, aluminum, and FRP are also given in Table 9.

Table 8. Mechanical properties of steel, aluminum, and fiber reinforced polymer (FRP).

Yield Strength Elastic Modulus Unit Weight


Material
(MPa) (E, GPa) (G, kN/m2 )
Steel SS400 280.00 200.00 76.91
Aluminum 6063-T6 170.00 69.60 26.49
FRP GFRP 402.58 33.28 18.42

Table 9. Allowable stress of steel, aluminum, and FRP.

Allowable Stress Tension (MPa) Compression (MPa) Shear (MPa) Flexure (MPa)
Steel SS400 140.00 140.00 80.00 140.00
Aluminum 6063-T6 103.03 103.03 61.82 103.03
FRP GFRP 201.29 134.19 26.40 161.03

From the structural analyses, the cross-sectional dimensions of the member made of each material
are determined; H-125 × 125 × 7 × 9 (in mm scale) for steel, H-100 × 100 × 10 × 10 (in mm scale) for
FRP, and H-130 × 120 × 10 × 10 (in mm scale) for aluminum, respectively. The results of structural
analyses are summarized in Table 10.

Table 10. FE analysis results of steel, aluminum, and FRP.

Material Tension (MPa) Compression (MPa) Shear (MPa) Flexure (MPa) Remark
Steel 30.02 28.94 30.38 116.24 OK
Aluminum 15.43 15.24 13.20 89.04 OK
FRP 1.32 1.79 12.60 25.86 OK

Buoys are made of high density polyethylene (HDPE) that are 590 mm in diameter and 2300 mm
in length. Floating design is conducted to determine the number of buoys for the structural system
made of each material. The results of the floating design are given in Table 11.

Table 11. Results of the floating design.

Length of Buoys No. of Buoys No. of Structures Total No. of Buoys Total Volume
Material
(mm) (EA) (EA) (EA) (m3 )
Steel 39 4095 2574.99
Aluminum 2300 14 105 1470 924.36
FRP 9 945 594.23

The commercial viability evaluation of floating PV generation complex is conducted by comparing


the cost of materials (structural members and buoys). In the evaluation process, common items such
Energies 2017, 10, 1142 13 of 14

as solar modules and mooring systems are excluded. In addition, in the evaluation, the durability of
the material, their ease of handling due to light-weight of the material, etc., are not included.
From the results of the viability evaluation, the unit material cost of aluminum is higher than
the FRP, and the unit cost of FRP is higher than the steel. However, the cost of aluminum members is
higher than the steel members, and the cost of steel members is higher than the FRP members because
of the difference of the unit weight (or specific gravity) of materials.
When a 1 MW class floating PV generation complex is constructed using FRP members, the total
cost for structural system is 2.49 times lower than the steel members and 1.77 times lower than the
aluminum members, mainly because of low specific gravity. Therefore, when a 1 MW class floating
PV generation complex is constructed, it is estimated that FRP is the most cost effective material. The
results of the commercial viability evaluation are summarized in Table 12.

Table 12. Commercial viability evaluation of floating PV generation complex.

Material Steel Aluminum FRP


Self weight of structure (kN) 48.84 17.60 11.48
Unit cost of member (US$/N) 0.16 0.54 0.44
No. of structures (EA) 105
Cost of members (US$) 820,512 997,920 530,376
Unit cost of buoy (US$) 285
Total No. of buoys (EA) 4095 1470 945
Cost of buoys (US$) 1,167,075 418,950 269,325
Total Cost (US$) 1,987,587 1,416,870 799,701

5. Conclusions
In this paper, we present the design and construction process of a floating PV generation system
with details of its actual construction. Moreover, we suggest the composition of the unit structure and
the process for the construction of the large-scale floating PV generation complex.
The 1 MW class floating PV generation complex is not constructed at a dam or reservoir, but
is constructed at the waterway of the cooling water intake channel in a thermoelectric power plant.
Considering the site conditions, anchors of the tension type that can be fixed to the wall of the waterway
using a chemical anchor and cable are adopted. The 1 MW class floating PV generation complex is
designed to consider the conditions of the construction site and to promote the commercialization of
the floating PV system.
A brief commercial viability analysis was performed based on the material costs of the structural
system fabricated with different materials. It found that the structural system fabricated with FRP is
the most cost effective due to the light weight of the material.
For the commercialization of a large-scale floating PV generation systems using FRP members, it
may be necessary to develop appropriate elemental techniques, construction skills, mooring systems,
etc. Therefore, the design and construction techniques developed in the 1 MW class floating PV
generation complex may be positive examples for the construction of large-scale floating PV generation
complexes in the future.

Acknowledgments: This work is supported by the Korea Agency for Infrastructure Technology Advancement
(KAIA) grant funded by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (Grant 17AUDP-B099686-03).
Author Contributions: S.J. Yoon contributed to conception and design and acquisition of data; S.H. Kim wrote
the paper; W. Choi critically revised the paper.
Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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