Gömbhal – sbp sonne’s pioneering floating PV system

In a very short time, sbp sonne and project partner Graboplan have successfully installed the prototype of a new type of floating PV system in Hungary.

The floating units consist of air-filled membrane tubes (“tubes”), similar to an inflatable boat. The innovative concept enables very fast installation, and the geometry and internal pressure of the tubes can also be adapted to the site and environmental conditions. Gömbhal, Hungarian for puffer fish, therefore reacts to special situations in a similar way to an inflating puffer fish.

Gömbhal is the first bifacial FPV system. On land, bifacial systems typically provide a higher energy yield since they can also use light reflected from the ground. However, they have not been used in previous FPV systems due to the significantly lower reflectivity (albedo) of water compared to solid ground. Gömbhal addresses this problem by having a membrane underneath the modules reflecting solar rays which, in typical lightweight engineering, also acts as a load-bearing structural element.

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The tubes, filled with air only on site, not only feature a low transport volume, but also enable particularly fast installation by simply inflating them. In addition, the system offers less target areas for longitudinal waves and, thanks to its flexibility, is less sensitive to impact loads than conventional systems.

Our prototype is equipped with an advanced data collection system that will provide further important insights into its energy yield and structural behavior. We are working on further development and market launch in a team with the best possible partners – we look forward to hearing from you!