The key source of energy is dwindling day by day as per capita energy consumption is rising. The effective utilization of renewable energy is critical for ensuring energy security, managing climate change challenges, and ensuring sustainable development. A recent study indicates that the use of solar technology in major power manufacturing sites in metropolitan areas has considerable environmental consequences. Further findings show that ground-mounted PV power plants take up a lot of areas in modern cities. These have resulted in an increase in land costs, which has resulted in a surge in the levelized tariff of electricity. Floating solar panels can be an alternative approach for mitigating the aforementioned issues.
How Do Floating Solar Panels Work
Floating solar panels have been available for over a decade and have grown in popularity in recent years. Floating solar panels are constructed with the objective of attaching solar panels to plastic floats, which then float over water bodies. It is an environmentally beneficial technique of producing electricity that blends marine technologies with renewable energy technology. Solar modules are designed to float on the surface of a water body, such as a dam or a reservoir. Electricity is sent to a transmission tower through underwater wires. To avoid interfering with plant and animal species that dwell in natural bodies of water, these floating solar arrays are often put on man-made water bodies, such as a city’s water dam, an irrigation reservoir, or a water treatment plant.
Advantages Of Floating Solar Panels
Floating solar is still a unique approach to solar electricity when compared to traditional land-based panels, but it tends to have a big future in regions where land for solar farms is rare or there is just an abundance of water. The more solar energy we deploy, whether on the ground, on roofs, or even on the oceans, the less we will rely on fossil fuels. There are several advantages to establishing a floating solar array over other sorts of projects:
- No Compromise On Important Land Areas
One of the most significant advantages of floating solar panels is that they do not require extensive ground area. Many of these projects, such as hydroelectric dam reservoirs, wastewater treatment ponds, or drinking water reservoirs, might take up underused space on water bodies. This allows landowners to use a location that might otherwise go unused, rather than installing on sunny land that could potentially serve another purpose down the line. Furthermore, installing solar panels on open water lowers the requirement for tree cutting and forest clearance, which is a practice utilized in some bigger solar panel installations.
- Improved Solar Panel Performance
Solar panels are long-lasting and can operate in extreme temperatures. However, like with other electronics, high temperatures result in lower power outputs. As temperatures rise, solar panel performance tends to diminish, which can be a problem for property owners planning to install panels in a hot and sunny region. The water bodies that house floating solar panels help cool down the solar equipment, allowing the panels to produce power at a higher efficiency in warmer climates than they would otherwise.
- Ecological Benefits
Floating solar panels may undoubtedly contribute to better ecosystems. The floating solar panel construction provides shade and lowers evaporation in these ponds, reservoirs, and lakes. This can be useful in drought-prone locations, where water loss due to evaporation may mount up over time and lead to a shortage.
The shade created by these floating solar panels also aids in the reduction of algae blooms in freshwater bodies. algae blooms may be hazardous to human health if they occur near a source of drinking water, and they can also cause the death of aquatic plants and animals.
Finally, floating solar panels provide clean, sustainable energy. The use of renewable energy technology contributes to lower emissions of greenhouse gasses and other pollutants into the atmosphere, which benefits both the natural environment and human health.
A Perfect Combination Of Floating Solar Panels And Hydropower For Sustainable Energy
The combination of floating solar panels with hydropower plants is anticipated to become more common as floating solar grows in acceptance and has multiple benefits.
One of the primary reasons for combining the two generating technologies is the reliability with which hydroelectric systems provide power. Because of the continuous flow of water all year round, hydroelectric facilities frequently provide energy with high predictability. In other cases, seasonal fluctuations in water levels can cause dams’ energy production to vary. This is where floating solar panels come in: by installing a floating array on the reservoir built behind most hydroelectric dams, extra power may be generated to stabilize the hydroelectric plant’s output when water levels change. Extra electricity produced by floating panels during the day allows more water to be stored behind hydroelectric dams. During the night, when the panels are not generating energy, that extra stored water can be allowed through the hydropower facility, resulting in more than enough energy being generated to get through the night hours.
This stabilization is especially crucial in places with weak electricity networks, where it is vital that every electric generator runs smoothly so that energy distribution is not affected at any moment. Solar panels manufacturers in India can provide much-needed network stabilization as well as other environmental advantages by combining floating solar panels with hydropower output.