Innovation in Solar: Floating Solar Farms

Innovation in Solar: Floating Solar Farms

Solar panels continue to pop up all over the United States, and increasingly generating the energy of the nation. Solar energy production once restricted to land is now advancing its way to water. New research has brought floating solar farms to center stage in the renewable energy conversation.

Floating photovoltaic panels, also known as “floatovoltaics,” have the potential to generate large amounts of electricity over manmade bodies of water. Floatovoltaics could provide power without taking up valuable real estate.

Today only approximately one hundred floating solar farms systems exist around the world. The placement interest of floatovoltaics would be on reservoirs with nearby electric transmission lines. An example of a potential body of water would be manmade and near hydroelectric power.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory says the production efficiency of solar panels could potentially increase over water. The study shows that the natural cooling effects of water blow solar panels can boost the solar panels power production by twenty-two percent. Research also found that floatovoltaics could limit the amount of water lost through evaporation. This would help prevent harmful algae blooms from growing.

The future of floatovoltaics will remain unknown until more there is more research into the technology. The greatest limitation of floating photovoltaic panels will be the unexplored effects, such as the long term performance and impacts on local wildlife.

Image result for floatovoltaic
Source: Science Direct

Source: Adam M. Pringle, R.M. Handler, J.M. Pearce,
Aquavoltaics: Synergies for dual use of water area for solar photovoltaic electricity generation and aquaculture,
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Volume 80, 2017, Pages 572-584, ISSN 1364-0321, Click here to access article


Related Post
Solar Development News in South Carolina

New Bill Being Passed in South Carolina in Favor of Solar Energy Last week at the South Carolina Statehouse the solar industry had a major victory when the state legislature unanimously voted to pass the energy freedom act. This bill will help to greatly lower electricity costs and create jobs in South Carolina. The solar […]

Read more
The History of Solar Panels

The History of Solar Panels For the last century and a half, inventors have been working hard to make improvements in the efficiency and aesthetics of solar technology. Solar energy technology began with a young physicist in France, Edmond Becquerel. In 1839, Becquerel observed and discovered the photovoltaic effect. This is the process that produces […]

Read more
Your Solar Guide: What is Solar Energy?

What is Solar Energy? Solar energy is the most abundant energy source on Earth, and as we continue to develop ways to capture it, it is an important aspect of our clean energy future. During the day when the sun is shining, each particle of sunlight that reaches earth contains energy that fuels our planet. […]

Read more