Awareness

Floating Solar for Power Plants, ETCs and Aquaculture farms

Solar to prevent Water Evaporation

Why use Solar power

With rapid urbanization and increasing population, the demand for power is always on the rise in developing nations like India. The current per capita power consumption in India is way below that of developed countries and even some developing countries like China. Conventional sources of power have led to pollution growing to such an extent that governments all over the world are now formulating plans to cut down their carbon footprint. In such a situation, rapid advancement in solar energy comes as a boon. Solar energy is free, abundant and environment friendly.

Floating solar plants are gaining momentum worldwide because it solves the problem of using expensive real estate for solar panel installation and also helps in water conservation by preventing evaporation. The efficiency of these plants is also higher as compared to land based PV systems because water from the surroundings reduces the temperature of the panel and thus provides a cooling effect which in turns improves the panel output. Using solar to prevent water evaporation is another key reason for adopting floating solar technology.

Floating solar integrates well into agricultural systems as well as industrial and commercial water reservoirs, and provides energy and water savings. With scarcity of land, floating solar panels on water surface is finding numerous applications in Power Plants, ETCs and Aquaculture farms, as they have a huge requirement of energy. A standard mid-sized fish farm’s CO2 emission level is equivalent to that from 70 cars.

Floating Solar for Power Plants

There are vast opportunities for floating solar deployment. It is an excellent option to be used over waste water bodies and industrial water bodies like wastewater treatment plants, cooling facilities in factories etc. In addition, when solar panels are placed over cool water instead of land, PV module efficiency can increase by 8−10% as compared to solar panels which are installed over land or over rooftops.

While we understand the usage of solar energy for power generation is becoming cheaper with each passing year, it is also equally true that value of the land pledged for solar development is also rapidly increasing with prices escalating each year. Land value price escalation can result in the cost of the overall solar system to increase, if this trend continues. Therefore, installing solar panels on top of water bodies is a very good alternative for power hungry developing economies. India recently inaugurated the country’s largest floating solar power plant with 500 kW capacity. The plant is expected to generate 7.5 lakh units of power annually which will be fed to the KSEB grid using underwater cables.

Floating Solar for Effluent Treatment Centres (ETCs)

It is difficult to find water in its purest form in nature. Therefore, water needs to be treated before it becomes suitable for usage. Effluent Treatment Centres (ETCs) also have a large requirement of power – to power pumps, ultraviolet (UV) systems, photocatalysis, reverse osmosis (RO), and conventional surface-water treatment systems. Solar energy is a highly suitable technology that can be used for water treatment. The floating power system can not only use solar to prevent water evaporation but also decrease its reliance on chemicals for water treatment.

In some countries like India, water bodies are highly contaminated. Free and clean solar power can be used to treat the rivers and ponds more effectively and can also result in generating extra power which could be fed to the grid. There are many examples of using solar photovoltaic technology in municipal solar water facilities in different parts of the world.

Floating Solar for Aquaculture farms

With rising population, the oceans cannot naturally keep up with the demand for seafood. Hence, aquaculture is important in today’s times. Most farms are located in remote off grid locations and hence using solar power makes sense. Not only is solar power generation environment friendly but it is also getting cheaper and can replace costly diesel power generation. Solar is highly flexible, modular, scalable and is very effective in case of power outages caused by mechanical failure or lack of fuel. Minor alterations like ensuring gaps between solar panels during installation allow sunlight to penetrate the water and our product is designed to provide optimum allowance for the shadowing impact and the distance that needs to be maintained between the solar panels. This is important to facilitate growth of the fish beneath the surface of the floating solar panel system.

Conclusion

Water Pollution is a common problem that is growing rapidly due to growing urbanization and an increasing population which is putting pressure on the water infrastructure. Water needs to be preserved because demand for clean water is growing rapidly. Water and wastewater utilities, municipal corporations and industries can benefit from new floating solar power systems which are economically viable as well as eco-friendly. Most water treatment plants run on diesel generators, which not only contribute to global warming but are also quite costly to run. Besides using solar to prevent water evaporation, a floating solar system also reduces algae and other organic growth, which in turn reduces water treatment and labor costs for water utility companies. Water is primarily used for drinking and irrigation, so this floating installation ensures improved quality and taste, while also helping in meeting a country’s renewable energy target.

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