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Floating Solar Panels - What you need to know?

15th July 2021  

Have you ever heard of floating solar panels? This is a relatively new technique where the solar panels are powered by sunlight, just like on land, but they are installed on the surface of wetlands, wastewater treatment plants, lakes, and dams of hydroelectric plants. Thus, it is necessary to use floats, which are the structures that support the floating solar modules (plates) over water.

How does a floating solar panel work?

Generally, a solar plate can weigh up to 25 kg, so these structures must be very resistant. Floating and terrestrial solar systems have a similar design, apart from the fact that the solar panels and often the inverters are mounted on a floating platform.

Direct current (DC) electricity is generated by photovoltaic modules, connected by junction boxes, and converted into alternating current (AC) by inverters.

Solar panels, as well as inverters, are anchored to the bottom. But it is also possible to connect them to the ground through floating power lines. The anchoring and mooring systems design used to hold the floating platforms in place will depend on many factors, such as the water level and its variability, bathymetry, soil conditions, type of buoyancy, and wind load.

Advantages of floating solar system

There are several advantages of floating solar systems to the ones that are mounted on rooftops.

  • Minimal soil consumption
  • Floating solar panels are placed on water and therefore do not consume soil by nature, except for those used to connect to the public electrical network.

  • Saves water
  • In areas dominated by the systems (coverage is, however, partial), evaporation of the underlying water is limited by up to 80%. In sites intended for irrigation or human consumption, it is possible to save significant amounts of water depending on the percentage of coverage of the basin and the atmospheric temperature.

  • High efficiency
  • The performance of floating solar panels is higher than systems that are installed on the land, which can be attributed to the reduced operating temperature of the solar modules due to the natural cooling of the water. Moreover, if installed in large water bodies, these systems can have less dust deposition, which increases the plant's energy production.

  • Low maintenance
  • The solar panels on water do not need frequent cleaning. In the air's free surface, the dust is reduced compared to the mainland since most of the dust lifted by the wind from the ground near water bodies cannot exceed the water's edge.

  • Cheap solar tracking and cooling
  • Compared to ground-based systems, the presence of water makes it easy to install solar tracking and panel cooling systems. This can increase the energy by 20% for solar tracking and 10% for cooling.

India, taking this trend forward!

The first-ever floating solar plant in India was built in 2014 in Kolkata, West Bengal. Today, India is taking this lead forward by constructing the world's largest floating solar plant at Omkareshwar Dam, Madhya Pradesh. This project will probably be completed by the year 2023.

If you are looking to buy any solar products get in touch with Waaree Energies Ltd. Contact us by calling at 1800-2121-321.

Have you read: What Will Be The Future Of Solar Energy In The Next 5–10 Years?

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