Sunday, 28 June 2015

Floating Solar Panels

It doesn't seem to matter if it's a wind/solar panel farm or a nuclear reactor, nobody wants a power plant spoiling their view or located near them. 

Ironically, EVERYONE wants to use the energy provided by these facilities to power the ever increasing 21st century life style gadgets we own. Floating solar panels seem to tick all the boxes to solve this problem.

Photovoltaic systems have been successfully deployed on land and in space for many years, so it was only a matter of time before water-based PV systems emerged on larger scales. Over the past five years, floating systems have evolved in varying degrees for use in ponds, reservoirs, canals, rivers and oceans.

Because of climate change, ocean surface temperatures have been higher in the past three decades than at any other time since record keeping began in the 1880s, according to the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency.

As carbon dioxide accumulates in the atmosphere, the world's oceans, which cover 70 percent of the globe, absorb it like a sponge. Once in the sea, the carbon dioxide reacts with the water, raising the acidity of the ocean and threatening the ability of corals and other marine life, such as oysters, to form shells and skeletons.

Among the benefits of using floating PV systems is the water-cooling effect on silicon solar cells, the natural reflectivity of the water surface, the potential reduction in algae growth due to reduced sunlight penetration, and a lower water temperature in the areas below the arrays.

It seems like a no brainer to me.

1: Water cooled PV panels operate at a higher efficiency.

2: Instead of carbon dioxide warming oceans, the panels reduce the temperature rise, whilst generating electricity.

3: Instead of using the 30% of the earth needed by an increasing population for homes and food, we use more of the oceans 70%.

4: Reservoirs could be utilised as water and energy providers.

5: PV panels laid on the water surface will be far less obtrusive than wind farms or power stations.

International waters could provide an energy source that would belong to the world. Nations who have an abundance of a natural resource such as oil rich middle eastern countries or Russian gas would no longer be able to use energy reliance as a weapon. We would collectively build and enjoy power from the sun , collected in the sea.

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one

John Lennon 

Twitter: (@solaricarus)

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