Development of self-floating fibre reinforced polymer composite structures for photovoltaic energy harvesting

Juan Han, Chuqi Wan, Hai Fang, Yu Bai

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14 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents an innovative self-floating fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) composite structure for photovoltaic energy harvesting through both experimental and numerical studies. The main structural components include the primary beams using FRP composite tube system and secondary beam using galvanized steel rectangular hollow sections to form the floating platform with the railless supporting frame on top. The mechanical performance of glass fibre fabrics with different fibre densities and orientations for the primary beams was investigated through experiments. The 0/90° glass fibre fabric in 170 g/m2 was used due to better structural performance and relatively low cost. Modelling approach considering two-way fluid–structure coupling was further developed to study the hydrodynamic characteristics of the self-floating FRP composite structure caused by wind, waves and flows. The functionality and structural safety can therefore be evaluated for the proposed FRP structure under certain aquatic environments, providing a solution to construct floating photovoltaic power stations with the unique advantage in corrosion resistance of the FRP composites.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112788
Number of pages10
JournalComposite Structures
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • Energy harvesting
  • Fibre reinforced polymer composites
  • Fluid-structure coupling
  • Photovoltaic
  • Self-floating

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