Posting in Design
A pilot is approved for a floating solar plant in India.
A floating solar plant sounds too good to be true. Granted, these kind of wacky ideas pop up from time-to-time. This one caught my eye. Given all the environmental concerns of building solar plants on land, this particular design of a floating solar plant has some potential to bring power to people living in India.
The Australian solar power company Sunengy Pty Limited is working with the power utility, Tata Power, on a floating solar plant. But the plant isn't exactly going to be randomly floating around in the ocean. It works best behind hydro-electric dams because it can increase the capacity of the plant without taking up extra land.
The technology behind the plant is called Liquid Solar Array, which uses photovoltaic technology and plastic lenses to concentrate the light onto the solar cells. The lenses are computer-controlled, so they can track the sunlight for full efficiency. The whole system is basically a big raft that floats on the water.
Nearly 40 percent of the Indian population doesn't have access to electricity. The inventor of the system, Phil Connor, said in a statement:
“If India uses just one percent of its 30,000 square kilometres of captured water with our system, we can generate power equivalent to 15 large coal-fired power stations.”
Just as long as it's made to resist major storms, the million dollar idea should work. The floating system turns a dam into a large battery and it is apparently cyclone proof, according to the inventor.
However, projects like this one will likely serve a niche market. Wind farms are noisy, so the off-shore location is preferred. Solar farms don't make noise like wind farms do, so does designing a solar plant to withstand the rough conditions of the water really make sense?
Because of continuous cooling of the cells and the landless requirement, the company claims its off-shore solar plant does make financial sense.
We won't have to wait long to find out. Construction will begin in August.
Even if the floating solar energy plant fails to be an efficient way of generating electricity, one of the many micro-grid ideas will likely play an important role in developing countries.
Recently, when I visited Stanford University, I spoke to Michael McGehee about the implementation of solar technology in developing countries. He made the case for micro-grids taking off, especially in areas where the infrastructure for the power grid is non-existent. I'll post the video this week, so stay tuned.
Related on SmartPlanet:
- An artificial "leaf" for solar power storage
- A clean water machine powered by the sun
- Top 10 solar power advances to watch
- Electronic skin made out of stretchable solar cells
Mar 30, 2011
The World Goes Solar. Japan's FiT in July is among the highest in the world. It's clear that Japan's FiT will shake the solar market. Now, US has the same options. New solar technology will show in Japan. This is it! As you know, earthquake in japan is happening frequently. Floating solar panels installation is one of the best solutions for power crisis in Japan. So you have to reduce the vibration to install Floating solar panels. Because, it makes many kinds of problems! The vibrations caused by wind, waves and external forces. New Floating Body Stabilizer for Floating solar panels installation has been created in South Korea. The Floating Body Stabilizers generate drag force immediately when Floating solar panels are being rolled and pitched on the water. Recently, this Floating Body Stabilizers using to reduce the Vibration of Floating Solar Panels in South Korea. You can see New Floating Body Stabilizer videos in YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moO--q5B92k, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nA_xFp5ktbU&feature=youtu.be.
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Now imagine this scenario: Out on the horizon bordering island nations? tropical waters are giant floats with rotary wind generators and solar panels that look like sails. In and on these floating mega structures are facilities which these nations will depend on beyond 2001. From clean rooms to ocean research centers, from marinas to transshipment ports, from mariculture to horticulture, from power generation to desalination, from housing to theme parks - the list goes on. [from my paper dated 1991]
What are you doing to go green? Here are some tips: http://www.youtube.com/user/ReliantRodeo
Nice idea,but what keeps them up?It takes energy to produce it and it will take energy to keep these platforms in the air.
Why not floating solar energy plants? During the 1970's a consortium that included some of the big industry names in the U.S. had contracts for thirteen floating Nuclear Power Plants for U.S installations. The design and construction for the construction--assembly plant was underway on an Island (Blount)in a bay outside of Jacksonville Florida to construct these floating Nuclear Power Plants. Invironmentalist succeded in getting the various states to cancel the delivery of the plants so the construction and assembly plant was not completed.