Solar power plants havebeen popping up all over the place these days… from the Sahara Desert, to rooftops — even on the top of billboards.
It’s no surprise, then, that plans are in the works for floating solar power plants.
After all, if floatingFunnoodle drink trays exist for summertime fun at the pool, why couldn’t the same concept be applied for renewable energy?
Australian solar power company Sunengy Pty Limited has done just this in an effort to find a more affordable method of capturing the sun’s energy.
Sunengy has partneredwith India’s largest integrated private power utility, Tata Power,allowing them to build a pilot plant for its patented Liquid Solar Array (LSA) technology.
The LSA technology is alow-cost solar technology that floats on water, using traditionalConcentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) technology — a lens and a small area ofsolar cells that tracks the sun throughout the day.
“In our quest to deliver sustainable energy, Tata Power is consistently investing in clean and eco-friendly technologies,” said Banmali Agrawala, Executive Director of Tata Power.
“We have partnered with Sunengy, Australia for a pilot plant in India,which is concentrated photovoltaic solar technology that floats onwater. This nascent technology will be demonstrated in the naturalenvironment; it utilizes the water surface for mounting and does notcompete with land that can be used for other purposes.”
According to Phil Connor, Sunengy Executive Director, and Chief TechnologyOfficer and inventor of the LSA, the system would not work on the openocean because it needs to be protected by wave breaks.
However, the system issafe inside of a dam. In the event of bad weather, the mirrors andsun-tracking devices turn downward and bury themselves in the water,limiting the risk of damage.
“LSA effectively turns adam into a very large battery, offering free solar storage andopportunity for improved water resource management,” Connor said.
“LSA needs no heavymaterials or huge land acquisitions and is effectively cyclone proof.”he said. “If India uses just one percent of its 30,000 square kilometers of captured water with our system, we can generate power equivalent to15 large coal-fired power stations.”
Hydropower supplies 87percent of the world’s renewable energy and 16 percent of the world’spower but is limited by its water resource, according to Connor.
An LSA installation could match the power output of a typical hydro dam using less than 10percent of its surface area and supply an additional six to eight hoursof power per day.
Construction of the pilot plant in India will commence in August 2011.
Sunengy plans to establish a larger LSA system in the NSW Hunter Valley in Australia mid 2012 before going into full production.
Until Next Time,
Partnership Provides First Floating Solar Power Plant Pilot in India originally appeared in Green Chip Stocks. Green Chip Review is a free 2x-per-week newsletter, is the firstadvisory to focus exclusively on investments in alternative andrenewable energies.
The Editorial Team at SolarFeeds is made up of knowledgeable solar industry insiders and experts who have a passion to share valuable, helpful and educational information. Aiming at becoming the best place to learn solar, the publication partners with industry thought leaders, journalists and influencers. Email us tips and insights at operations [at] SolarFeeds. com