Design and structural analysis of modular barge for floating solar plant
Mandarapu Mani Sandeep Kumar
Date of Issue2018
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Floating offshore barge is a structure designed for transporting and performing a variety of operations in an oceanic environment. Solar industry has been rapidly emerging since last few decades and presently extending its capabilities from onshore to offshore in the form of floating solar plants. There are certain advantages of setting up floating solar plants which includes better utilization of land space and an increased efficiency. Conceptualization of modularity in designing a barge brings in certain advantages such as offshore maintenance and manufacturability. Thus, this project emphasises on design concept of a modular barge and its structural analysis by simulating modal and harmonic frequencies and determining the motions of a conventional barge by response study in Singapore geographical conditions. Initially, an extensive literature review on floating solar plants is conducted and the design basis for the barge has been established by concentrating the input design parameters to coastal Singapore conditions. With the parameters studied, a sizing principle for the barge size has been formulated along with the Levelized Cost of Electricity. Simple analytical formulas are applied to determine the main characteristics of the module in terms of buoyancy and acceptable load for ensuring safe operation. The structure has been analysed in its natural and excited frequencies. Simulated response study with respect to the dynamic parameters of the environmental loads has been performed to obtain the motion response of the structure to the sea state. This helps in determining the rotational angle of the barge with sea state which affects the efficiency of the photovoltaic panels. Modular float has been designed and the motion of the barge with sea state has been obtained.