SolarSea at LUX* South Ari Atoll

3 mins read

Let’s take a look at the SolarSea project by Swimsol at LUX* South Ari Atoll. Swimsol is an exciting company with some cool ideas for going solar, especially in a setting like the Maldives. LUX* South Ari Atoll, meanwhile, took home the “Leading Eco-Friendly resort in the Maldives” award at the South Asian Travel Awards (SATA) held in Galle, Sri Lanka in September. Great things happen when properties start thinking outside the box and collaborate on projects.

Working with Swimsol is a breeze. They order material, import them and send them out to the resort. Assembly takes place on-site, platform by platform. They can be assembled on a neighbouring island and towed to their final location but at LUX* South Ari, assembly took place on the beach.

Here’s the crew on the beach preparing the mooring. You can see someone who’s just got out of the water, too. It’s hard work and rewarding, like most good things in life.

Here at the resort, all suitable rooftops are covered with solar PV panels – a project that was completed in March 2019. The rooftop system was around since December 2018, while expansion finished in March 2019, with the addition of two buildings. Observe one SolarSea platform, already in its permanent location, while the other rests near the beach waiting to be towed.

The platforms are towed to their final location – you can see the towing boat in the right-hand corner. Five of the platforms are moored (by a team of snorkellers) and the other has ropes attached, which the marine team members grab and pull with ropes and then moor.

Finally, all six are in place! The platforms are anchored over sand and seagrass so they won’t harm marine life. Eventually, these platforms become the settling ground for coral larvae. They look so pretty from above, and together these beauties produce around 190kW. The yield is higher on the water than on roofs as the ocean has a cooling effect on the solar panels. SolarSea has a 10 per cent higher output than a similar-sized rooftop system.

Here’s the team – a multinational crew of Europeans, Maldivians and Bangladeshis. Whoever joins can learn a lot. Swimsol welcomes youth who’ve just finished school as well as experienced senior engineers. It’s a multidisciplinary team, with members being equally at home on rooftops and in the water.