Construction of second Sun on Dikes pilot site started

17 Aug 2020

TNO and the Zuiderzeeland Water Board, in collaboration with partners, have started the construction of the second pilot site within the Zon op Dijken (Sun on Dikes) research project on the Knardijk in Flevoland. The Knardijk is an inner dike that forms the boundary between eastern and southern Flevoland. Two innovative photovoltaic systems will be built and tested for water safety, among other things. Earlier this year, the first pilot site was built on an inner dike in Zeeland.

The start construction of the pilot site 'Zon op Dijken' on the Knardijk

A cover of turf with firm roots is crucial for water safety, on dikes where there is no paving. On the Knardijk, the system of Soltronergy, a specialist in solar power installations, will be installed in such a way that the turf gets an ample supply of water and light, and the grass is not disturbed. This system also provides a good view of the dike, so that dike inspections can take place without hindrance.

The system of Afvalzorg, a developer of secondary building materials among other things, is equipped with a new type of dike paving (Solarbase) on which solar panels are mounted. This system can be used where there are future dike reinforcement projects.

Dike inspections

After construction, which is expected to be completed in October of this year, the dike will be periodically inspected and continuously monitored using a network of sensors. TNO will measure the energy performance of the various systems.

Wageningen University & Research will monitor the effects of the solar panels on the turf and, together with Deltares, look at the consequences for water safety. The dike will be returned to its original condition once the pilot has been completed. The consortium will then come up with a recommendation on whether additional research is necessary.

About Zon op Dijken (Sun on Dikes)

Led by TNO and the Foundation for Applied Water Research (STOWA), the knowledge centre for all the water boards, a consortium of public authorities, knowledge institutes and system builders is carrying out the three-year Zon op Dijken (Sun on Dikes) study.

It is investigating how solar power systems can be combined with dikes without compromising the dike's primary water-barrier function. Earlier this year the first pilot project, solar panels on an inner dike in Zeeland, was started, focusing on water safety, integration into the landscape and stakeholder support in the surrounding area.

This project is being given financial support by TKI Urban Energy.
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Maarten Dörenkämper

  • Solar Technology & Application

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