SOURCE: IFP Energies nouvelles

IFP Energies nouvelles

IFP Energies nouvelles

December 19, 2012 10:15 ET

Ciel et Terre Launches Hydrelio(C) the First Large-Scale Floating Solar Power Generation System

A Successful R&D Partnership Between IFP Energies nouvelles and Ciel et Terre

RUEIL-MALMAISON, FRANCE--(Marketwire - Dec 19, 2012) - IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN) and Ciel et Terre signed an R&D agreement at the end of 2011 to develop Hydrelio©, the world's first large-scale floating solar power generation system. Designed by R&D teams at Ciel et Terre, Hydrélio has just been launched on the international market, and the results are already promising.

This partnership was set up as part of IFPEN's technological support policy to help SMEs develop their technological innovations. With this project, IFPEN has contributed its scientific expertise in the fields of finite element modeling, structural modeling and analysis of mooring line behavior. 

This new floating solar power generation concept addresses the problems of land availability and landscape impacts that large-scale land-based solar power generation projects come up against. It makes it possible to conserve land that can be put to other uses (farming, mining, tourism, urban development) and to convert unused stretches of water into spaces dedicated to renewable electricity production (quarry lakes, irrigation ponds, water treatment plant lagoons, dams). These stretches of water cover substantial areas. Synergies with water can even go beyond with side benefits such as preserving water resources by cutting evaporation and preventing from algae growth.

The modular Hydrélio© system comes in a variety of versions and can be used to construct power plants generating up to 50 megawatts. The basic module consists of two blow molded floats made of HDPE plastic material: one supports the solar panel and the other is used as a link and to provide maintenance access. The floats are then joined together to form solar islands, using an easy-to-assemble, ultra-resistant system of connection pins.

The Ciel et Terre / IFPEN partnership focused on the mechanical strain placed on the system and, particularly, the extreme stresses that a floating platform may be subject to as a result of swell and high winds. The tests, which are structured to take into account maximum stresses related to extreme weather conditions (cyclones, typhoons), confirm the viability of the system for all climates during 20+ years.

IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN) is a world-class public-sector research, innovation and training center active in the fields of energy, transport and the environment. Its mission is to provide public players and industry with efficient, economical, clean and sustainable technologies to take up the challenges facing society in terms of climate change, energy diversification and water resource management.

IFPEN supports the business development of SMEs by giving them access to its technical resources, scientific expertise and know-how in producing innovative processes and products on an industrial scale, through fair R&D partnership contracts. For more information on IFPEN's SME support policy, go to:

About Ciel et Terre
A pioneer in the French photovoltaic sector, Ciel et Terre has been developing large-scale photovoltaic solar power generation systems for use on roofs, land or water, working in partnership with industry and local authorities, since 2006, in mainland France and Reunion Island.

Today, Ciel et Terre is recognized for the quality of its solar power generation systems and innovative developments. The company harnesses all the skills required to handle every aspect of a photovoltaic solar power generation system construction project, be they technical, legal, administrative or financial.

Ciel et Terre therefore manages a photovoltaic project from start to finish: design, finance, installation and operation.

After 6 years of experience, Ciel & Terre was operating 55 solar power stations at the end of 2011, representing 16 MWc of power generated and expand its international development in over 7 countries with offices in South Africa, India and Japan.

Contact Information

  • Contacts:
    Patricia Fulgoni
    Tel.: +33 (0)1 47 52 67 21

    Ciel et Terre:
    Alexis Gaveau
    Co-Manager and Technical Director
    Tel: +33 (0)6 28 07 83 93