The bizarre fusion of water and electricity may gain a lot of attention this year as the world’s latest innovation is set to sail throughout. Floating solar, a relatively new concept was first heard in 2008 when the first patent of this technology was signed. Since then, the world has seen a flourishing growth in its installation. The demand for clean electricity, especially the one generated using a renewable energy source is on the rise. However, many countries are failing to suffice with the amount of land these installations require. Hence, the increasing demand for ‘floating solar installations’ comes into action.
- What Is It?
Floating solar, also known as floating photovoltaic (FPV), is any sort of solar array that floats on top of a water body, typically an artificial basin or a lake. The “floatovoltaics” as referred to by some, are a promising revolution towards the path of sustainable energy. The technology has blossomed gradually since a decade ago from California, to more than a hundred sites, with the first public floating solar system company (Ceil & Terre) being set up in California, USA.
- Key Players
Some key players in the market include Sharp Corporation, Kyocera Corporation, SPG Solar, Inc., Yingli Solar, Trina Solar Limited, Novaton AG.
- Higher and better performance - due to the water’s inherent cooling nature
- Higher energy output
- Alternate energy at dams
- The land - space problem is reduced
- Has a lot of environmental benefits
- Storage opportunity
- Installation and decommissioning
- Improved Plant Load Factor (PLF) due to the lack of a tracking system
- Upcoming Projects
- Napa Country Far Niente winery: This valley has come up with the world’s first Floatovoltaic System. This initiative was done, keeping in mind not to utilize the valuable grapevine lands. The system is currently producing more annual electric power than the entire winery consumes.
- Kunde Winery: This floatovoltaic plant was built upon a water – storage reservoir, in California, in the US. The grid connection was effective in May 2016.
- UFC Orlando: Floatovoltaics is the perfect fit for this sultry state. The Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) has undertaken this project with great responsibilities. The project uses the expertise of French floatovoltaics godfather, Ciel & Terre and newcomer installer D3Energy of Florida. Ciel & Terre, which manufactures the Hydrelio HDPE-floats that hold the panels and wires, has 60-MW of floating experience globally. This project is the first major floating array in Florida and one of only a handful in the United States.
- How Can iSolarWorld Help?
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