Experimental research on very flexible floating structures for photovoltaic systems

TU Delft
Branche / Vakgebied
Research and Development
Vereiste taal
Engels, Nederlands
Start op
23 oktober 2023
Eindigt op
23 oktober 2024


Project background

Environmental challenges demand to design large-scale renewable energy solutions. Very Flexible
Floating Structures (VFFS) emerge as a promising answer for large scale and economical floating solar
designs. VFFS can be described as ‘floating blankets’ which makes them different from conventional
offshore structures: they are extremely thin and may have lengths and widths of over hundred meters.
Through their flexible origin they merely follow the wave elevations which makes them prone to
significant deflections and hydroelastic interactions.
For the load and motion assessment of such structures, hydroelastic interactions are extremely
important. Hydroelastic stiffness does not scale equally with the geometry of the structure. Correct
scaling is the fundamental basis of further experimental research on novel flexible structures such as
floating solar, floating seaweed farms or wave energy devices. Therefore a method needs to be
developed for varying the stiffness independently of other structural properties, such as mass per unit
area and material thickness. With systematic variations, correct scaling with regards to real scale is
attempted to be acquired.


Your works will be both theoretical research on scaling as experimental research. You will:

  • Analyse relevant scaling laws for hydroelastic response of VFFS.
  • Develop a method to design and build VFFS models with systematically varied stiffness, thickness and mass.
  • Design and build a measurement setup to accurately measure the loads and responses of VFFS models and their structural parameters. Stereo-vision methods will be used for deformation and motion response.
  • Conduct an uncertainty assessment of the developed measurement methodology.
  • Perform experimental measurements and analyse the effect of systematic variations of structural parameters discuss your findings against the identified scaling laws.


A background in (maritime) hydrodynamics and/or structures is preferred, with interests in
experimental research. The tasks include both hands-on work and fundamental analysis. For further
information or questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.


Hanna Pot (h.m.pot@tudelft.nl), Sebastian Schreier (s.schreier@tudelft.nl)