The Benefits of Floating Solar Panels
India is set to become one of the largest solar hub worldwide in the coming years. Scientists have learned to harness the Sun, transforming its energy to meet our energy needs. Generating electricity by the power of the Sun through the solar panels is the need of the hour. More than 800 companies exhibited their expertise in the Renewable Energy India Expo, a UBM Event that was held from 18 to 20 September 2018 at India Expo Mart, Greater NOIDA (UP).
For installation of the solar panels, the roof top is the ideal place providing electricity to the entire house. But in rural areas, field is required for generation of electricity for irrigation purposes. And as the land holdings are shrinking due to expansion of farming communities, the alternate is to use the floating solar panels to capture the Sun, said Shri Deepak Ushadevi, Senior Vice President- Business Development of Ciel & Terre India, a Bengaluru based company during his interaction with Krishi Jagran.
Since 2011 French Company Ciel & Terre are developing large-scale floating solar solutions. Their innovative Hydrelio Floating PV system allows standard PV panels to be installed on large bodies of water such as: drinking water reservoirs, quarry lakes, irrigation canals, remediation and tailing ponds, and hydro electric dam reservoirs. This simple and affordable alternative to ground-mounted systems is particularly suitable for water-intensive industries who cannot afford to waste either land or water.
Now let’s learn how it works;
The main float is constructed of high-density thermoplastic (HDPE) and is set at a 12 degree angle to support a standard 60 Cell PV solar module. A secondary non-slip HDPE float is then used to link the main floats together and provide a platform for maintenance and added buoyancy as illustrated below.
According to Ciel & Terre, the system is easy to install and dismantle, can be adapted to any electrical configuration, is scalable from low to high power generation and requires no tools or heavy equipment. It is also eco-friendly, fully recyclable, has low environmental impact and is cost effective. Till date the system has been installed in the UK, and a Japanese system will be installed by March 2016.
In addition to being an alternative to taking up valuable land, floating solar panel systems can help reduce algae growth in dam environments and reduce evaporation. Due to the cooling effect of water on solar panels, Ciel & Terre says its systems generate more electricity than land-based solar farms of a similar size