Alternative Energy

Alternative Energy

Alternative energy news, and information about renewable energy technologies.

Apr 01

Floating Solar Panels: A Viable Solution?

Posted in Hydro Power | Photovoltaic Cells | Solar Power

Since 2011, French Company Ciel & Terre has been 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.

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. To date the system has been installed in the UK, and a Japanese system will be installed by March 2016.


Watch the video:

What do you think? Is this a viable solution? Leave your comments below…

  • exdent11

    It would seem to be a good solution for reducing evaporation and without using valuable land.

  • John Atkeison

    reducing evaporation seems to be a terrific idea. I’ll bet that there is a 72-cell version in the works.

  • bpnjensen

    Absolutely. Here in Alameda County, California, USA, we have several quarry lakes that have/will become water storage reservoirs; these expanses could not only support solar panels, but could benefit from the cooling effect of the shade (algae inhibition) and the reduction of evaporation in direct sunlight. A big win all the way around.

  • Pieter Siegers

    Why use floating panels? They require more maintenance than fixed land or rooftop panels. Doesn’t make much sense to me this idea.

    • Paul Listman

      how much does maintenance cost is the question you are asking. 1 dude doing something twice a year at 12 dollars/quid an hour. Id have my teenager clean those as a chore

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