Floating solar refers to a solar power production installation mounted on a structure that floats on a body of water, typically an artificial basin or a lake.
Two systems can be distinguished:
FPV or Floating photovoltaic: uses photovoltaic panels mounted on the platform. Floating CSP or Floating concentrated solar power: uses mirrors that redirect the solar power to a tower.
This technology has had a rapid growth on the renewable energy market since 2016 and in 2017 has overcome the 200 MW of installed power. The first 20 plants, of a few dozen of kWp have been built between 2008 and 2014 as reported in the MIRARCO paperthat analyzed the birth of this technology.
Renewable energy is energy that is collected from renewable resources, which are naturally replenished on a human timescale, such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat. Renewable energy often provides energy in four important areas: electricity generation, air and water heating/cooling, transportation, and rural (off-grid) energy services.
The installed power in 2018 is foreseen to be near to 1 GWP.
There are several reasons for this development:
American, Danish, French, Italian and Japanese nationals were the first to register patents for floating solar. In Italy the first registered patent, regarding PV modules on water, goes back to February 2008.
A patent is a form of intellectual property that gives its owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using, selling, and importing an invention for a limited period of years, in exchange for publishing an enabling public disclosure of the invention. In most countries patent rights fall under civil law and the patent holder needs to sue someone infringing the patent in order to enforce his or her rights. In some industries patents are an essential form of competitive advantage; in others they are irrelevant.
The MIRARCO (Mining Innovation Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corporation Ontario, CANADA) research group quotes several solutions that were put forward in the years 2008-2011 and 2012-2014.Without being exhaustive the installations can be classified into three categories:
It is Impossible to give a detailed analysis of the many small PV floating plants built in the first 10 years. The plot here below is based on data taken from the web for FPV with more than 500 kW of power. In the Asian Clean Energy Summit in Singapore (Oct. 2017) two numbers where quoted by the World- Bank Group: 453 MWp for installation in 2017 and a forecast of 750 MWp for 2018.
The following graph shows the growth of solar floating installations globally from the beginning.
Data taken from “Where Sun Meets Water: Floating Solar Market Report,” World Bank Group and SERIS, Singapore, 2018.
Floating CSP has similar advantages to floating photovoltaics.
Photovoltaics (PV) is the conversion of light into electricity using semiconducting materials that exhibit the photovoltaic effect, a phenomenon studied in physics, photochemistry, and electrochemistry.
Cadmium telluride (CdTe) is a stable crystalline compound formed from cadmium and tellurium. It is mainly used as the semiconducting material in cadmium telluride photovoltaics and an infrared optical window. It is usually sandwiched with cadmium sulfide to form a p-n junction solar PV cell. Typically, CdTe PV cells use a n-i-p structure.
Solar desalination is a technique to desalinate water using solar energy. There are two basic methods of achieving desalination using this technique; direct and indirect. Sunlight may provide heat for evaporative desalination processes, or for some indirect methods, convert to electricity to power a membrane process.
Photovoltaic solar panels absorb sunlight as a source of energy to generate electricity. A photovoltaic (PV) module is a packaged, connected assembly of typically 6x10 photovoltaic solar cells. Photovoltaic modules constitute the photovoltaic array of a photovoltaic system that generates and supplies solar electricity in commercial and residential applications.
Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) are photovoltaic materials that are used to replace conventional building materials in parts of the building envelope such as the roof, skylights, or facades. They are increasingly being incorporated into the construction of new buildings as a principal or ancillary source of electrical power, although existing buildings may be retrofitted with similar technology. The advantage of integrated photovoltaics over more common non-integrated systems is that the initial cost can be offset by reducing the amount spent on building materials and labor that would normally be used to construct the part of the building that the BIPV modules replace. These advantages make BIPV one of the fastest growing segments of the photovoltaic industry.
A solar-powered desalination unit produces potable water from saline water through direct or indirect methods of desalination powered by sunlight. Countries such as Australia, Italy and Egypt have adopted this system as an alternative source of water for the population. Solar energy is the most promising renewable energy source due to its ability to drive the more popular thermal desalination systems directly through solar collectors and to drive physical and chemical desalination systems indirectly through photovoltaic cells.
Solar power is the conversion of energy from sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV), indirectly using concentrated solar power, or a combination. Concentrated solar power systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. Photovoltaic cells convert light into an electric current using the photovoltaic effect.
China is the world's largest market for both photovoltaics and solar thermal energy. Since 2013 China has been the world's leading installer of solar photovoltaics (PV). In 2015, China became the world's largest producer of photovoltaic power, narrowly surpassing Germany. In 2017 China was the first country to pass 100 GW of cumulative installed PV capacity, and by the end of 2018, it had 174 GW of cumulative installed solar capacity. As of May 2018, China holds the record for largest operational solar project in its 1,547-MW project at Tengger. The contribution to the total electric energy production remains modest as the average capacity factor of solar power plants is relatively low at 17% on average. Of the 6,412 TWh electricity produced in China in 2017, 118.2 TWh was generated by solar power, equivalent to 1.84% of total electricity production. The goal for 2050 is to reach 1,300 GW of solar capacity. If this goal is to be reached it would be the source with the largest installed capacity in China.
A photovoltaic system, also PV system or solar power system, is a power system designed to supply usable solar power by means of photovoltaics. It consists of an arrangement of several components, including solar panels to absorb and convert sunlight into electricity, a solar inverter to convert the output from direct to alternating current, as well as mounting, cabling, and other electrical accessories to set up a working system. It may also use a solar tracking system to improve the system's overall performance and include an integrated battery solution, as prices for storage devices are expected to decline. Strictly speaking, a solar array only encompasses the ensemble of solar panels, the visible part of the PV system, and does not include all the other hardware, often summarized as balance of system (BOS). Moreover, PV systems convert light directly into electricity and shouldn't be confused with other technologies, such as concentrated solar power or solar thermal, used for heating and cooling.
Historically, the main applications of solar energy technologies in Canada have been non-electric active solar system applications for space heating, water heating and drying crops and lumber. In 2001, there were more than 12,000 residential solar water heating systems and 300 commercial/ industrial solar hot water systems in use. These systems presently comprise a small fraction of Canada’s energy use, but some government studies suggest they could make up as much as five per cent of the country’s energy needs by the year 2025.
Cadmium telluride (CdTe) photovoltaics describes a photovoltaic (PV) technology that is based on the use of cadmium telluride, a thin semiconductor layer designed to absorb and convert sunlight into electricity. Cadmium telluride PV is the only thin film technology with lower costs than conventional solar cells made of crystalline silicon in multi-kilowatt systems.
Worldwide growth of photovoltaics has been close to exponential between 1992 and 2018. During this period of time, photovoltaics (PV), also known as solar PV, evolved from a niche market of small scale applications to a mainstream electricity source. When solar PV systems were first recognized as a promising renewable energy technology, subsidy programs, such as feed-in tariffs, were implemented by a number of governments in order to provide economic incentives for investments. For several years, growth was mainly driven by Japan and pioneering European countries. As a consequence, cost of solar declined significantly due to experience curve effects like improvements in technology and economies of scale. Several national programs were instrumental in increasing PV deployment, such as the Energiewende in Germany, the Million Solar Roofs project in the United States, and China's 2011 five-year-plan for energy production. Since then, deployment of photovoltaics has gained momentum on a worldwide scale, increasingly competing with conventional energy sources. In the early 21st Century a market for utility-scale plants emerged to complement rooftop and other distributed applications. By 2015, some 30 countries had reached grid parity.
Photovoltaic thermal hybrid solar collectors, also known as hybrid PV/T (PVT) or solar cogeneration systems, are power generation technologies that convert solar radiation into usable thermal and electrical energy. Such systems combine a solar cell, which converts sunlight into electricity, with a solar thermal collector, which captures the remaining energy and removes waste heat from the PV module. These technologies can be more energy efficient overall than solar photovoltaic (PV) or solar thermal alone.
Amonix, Inc. is a solar power system developer based in Seal Beach, California. The company manufactures concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) products designed for installation in sunny and dry climates. CPV products convert sunlight into electrical energy in the same way that conventional solar photovoltaic technology does, except that they use optics to focus the solar radiation before the light is absorbed by solar cells. According to a comparative study of energy production of solar technologies, CPV systems require no water for energy production and produce more energy per megawatt (MW) installed than traditional PV systems. Amonix has nearly 70 Megawatts(DC) of CPV solar power systems deployed globally, including Southwestern U.S. and Spain. In May 2012, the Alamosa Solar Generating project, owned and operated by Cogentrix Energy, began commercial operation. This is the largest CPV power plant in the world and is expected to produce enough clean renewable energy per year to power more than 6,500 homes and will avoid the emissions of over 43,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. The Alamosa Solar Generating Project is supported by a power purchase agreement (PPA), which is a long-term agreement to sell the power it will generate. Under the project's PPA, the Public Service Company of Colorado will buy the power generated by the solar facility for the next 20 years. In July 2012, Amonix set the world record for photovoltaic module efficiency at 33.5% under nominal operating conditions, verified by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. In April 2013, Amonix broke the record set in July 2012, demonstrating photovoltaic module efficiency at 34.9% under normal concentrator standard operating conditions (CSOC), also verified by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. In August 2013, Amonix announced it had achieved a 35.9% photovoltaic module efficiency rating under concentrator standard test conditions (CSTC) as calculated by NREL. In June, 2014, the assets of Amonix were acquired by Arzon Solar, LLC for the purpose of continued development of CPV technology and products.
Photovoltaic mounting systems are used to fix solar panels on surfaces like roofs, building facades, or the ground. These mounting systems generally enable retrofitting of solar panels on roofs or as part of the structure of the building.
Solar power in Italy increased rapidly in the last ten years, reaching an installed capacity that ranks fifth in the world. Solar power accounted for 7% of the electricity generated in Italy during 2013, ranking first in the world. In 2017, that number was close to 8%, which was beaten only by Germany in Europe. More than 730 000 solar power plants are currently installed in Italy, with a total capacity of 19.7 GW. Sun energy currently produces around 26% of all renewable energy in the country. The years 2009-2013 saw a boom in installed photovoltaic (PV) nameplate capacity, increasing nearly 15-fold, and 2013's year-end capacity of 17,928 MW ranked third in the world, ahead of the United States at that time. This was partly due to the generous solar PV power generation incentives offered under the Conto Energia schemes. As of 2013, the sector provided employment to about 100,000 people, especially in design and installation.
A photovoltaic power station, also known as a solar park, is a large-scale photovoltaic system designed for the supply of merchant power into the electricity grid. They are differentiated from most building-mounted and other decentralised solar power applications because they supply power at the utility level, rather than to a local user or users. They are sometimes also referred to as solar farms or solar ranches, especially when sited in agricultural areas. The generic expression utility-scale solar is sometimes used to describe this type of project.
Solar power in South Africa includes photovoltaics (PV) as well as concentrated solar power (CSP). In 2016, South Africa had 1,329 MW of installed solar power capacity. Installed capacity is expected to reach 8,400 MW by 2030.
The CIAL Solar Power Project is a 40 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic power station built at COK airport, India, by the company Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL). Cochin International Airport became the first fully solar powered airport in the world with the commissioning the plant.
Renewable energy in South Africa is energy that is obtained from renewable resources, those which naturally replenish themselves, such as; sunlight, wind, tides, waves, rain, biomass, and geothermal heat. Renewable energy focuses on four core areas including; electricity generation, air and water heating/cooling, transportation, and rural energy services. The energy sector in South Africa is an important component of global energy regimes due to the country's innovation and advances in renewable energy. South Africa's contribution to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is ranked as moderate and its per capita emission rate is higher than the global average. Energy demand within the country is expected to rise steadily and double by 2025.
The bibcode is a compact identifier used by several astronomical data systems to uniquely specify literature references.
In computing, a Digital Object Identifier or DOI is a persistent identifier or handle used to identify objects uniquely, standardized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). An implementation of the Handle System, DOIs are in wide use mainly to identify academic, professional, and government information, such as journal articles, research reports and data sets, and official publications though they also have been used to identify other types of information resources, such as commercial videos.