Why The Buzz Around Floating Solar PV?

We have said this before: floating solar is the new exotic solar these days.

From Australia, to India, to Japan, to Korea, to the US, and now Brazil, everyone has been announcing floating solar pv power projects in all shapes and sizes.

The reason these countries are in such a rush is bcause floating solar PV technology offers a number of advantages:

  • Natural evaporative cooling as a result of the water body can keep the PV panel temperatures lower than ground mounted ones, and hence boost their efficiency.
  • Typically areas with high solar energy potential tend to be dusty and arid, so in comparison to their ground mounted counterparts, floating PV system not only have to perform in a low dust environment, they can always use a sprinkler to bathe themselves clean.
  • Many of the developers who have floating PV projects in the pipeline make it a point to announce that they “reduce water evaporation to a great extent” (Side note — while water evaporation is definitely a benefit, it is questionable how much water it can really save).
  • Availability of land is a big problem. This is one of the primary reasons why Japan has been interested in the floating PV technology. If one is planning to put floating PV in dam reservoirs (Brazil and India), you can make better use of the reservoir surface, which is anyway lying idle. Also no land acquisition = happy people = no murky politics! continue reading

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