A French photovoltaic company, Ciel et Terre, has released a new photovoltaic system that floats on water.
The modular Hydrélio system comes in a variety of versions and can be used to construct power plants generating up to 50MW. The basic module consists of two blow-moulded floats made of HDPE plastic material. One supports the solar panel and the other is used as a link and to provide maintenance access. The floats are then joined together to form solar islands, using a system of connection pins.
The idea behind the floating photovoltaic system is that it can use the area taken up by water that can’t otherwise be used, while leaving land open for other uses.
The Hydrélio system will be best used in unused stretches of water, such as quarry lakes, irrigation ponds, water treatment plant lagoons and dams, Ciel et Terre said. “This new floating solar power generation concept addresses the problems of land availability and landscape impacts that large-scale land-based solar power generation projects come up against,” it said. “It makes it possible to conserve land that can be put to other uses, and to convert unused stretches of water into spaces dedicated to renewable electricity production. These stretches of water cover substantial areas.”
This system looks promising as we continue to move into using more renewable energy sources and land use is becoming an issue.
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