“OceanCleanup” is a heroic effort to try and save our oceans!
SUNBEAMsystem is a proud supplier of solar panels for the “Ocean Cleanup” prototype. Previously the plan was to build one large system, permanently anchored in the seabed. Now work is being done on a modular design based on sea anchors. This means the project can start with an initial group of smaller systems, drastically lowering the startup costs. It also allows the systems to do drift on the currents which also carry the plastic. Interestingly this increases the overall performance since the systems now naturally gravitate towards plastic ‘hot spots’.
Each cleanup location can feature up to 50 smaller subsystems. To track their position and collect data, each system is equipped with a GPS-tracker and multiple sensors. The batteries for these electronics will be charged by solar panels. And these solar panels have to pass high requirements due to the demanding circumstances at sea. Standard ‘glass panels’ like you see on rooftops are therefore far from suited. In their search for a supplier with experience in applying solar panels in marine environments our paths crossed.
The current design features Tough 18W Flush panels, high-efficiency solar panels specifically designed for maritime purposes. The durable Tough surface is resistant to saltwater and strong UV radiation and the Flush cables on the backside of the panels allow for ‘invisible’ internal connection to the regulators. No unnecessary luxury: the solar panels are mounted directly on the floaters and will continuously be in contact with the seawater.