Sunday, December 28, 2014

Another Water Installation - "Sunflower Floating Solar Power Plant In Korea"

We are starting to see more and more of these floating solar installations. Although they present some unique engineering issues it makes sense to utilize spaces that are not available for humans. I think one thing it has done for me is to be more open to the environmental impacts of solar. I have been involved in utility solar development and I have been a bit dogmatic in the fact that desert installations have little impact. The fact is that just like over water they do. Now having said that micro ecosystems develop between both. Is that bad? Several years back we worked with one of the southern Californian water districts and they were very interested in developing a solar water plant as it served two purposes. On was the generation of power whic they are a large consumer of and two water evaporation control. I was astounded at the amount of water loss they deal with from their water storage facilities. When you start analyzing it from a financial standpoint the numbers are astounding. When we were engineering for this the price of solar was still  high but when you calculated the amount of financial loss due to water evaporation it was a break even. It would be interesting to recalculate using todays solar prices.
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December 21st, 2014 by  
South Korean PV module manufacturer SolarPark Korea has supplied modules to the first floating solar PV power plant in the country, the prototype Sunflower Solar Power Plant, which uses a tracking and rotating system. According to SolarPark Korea, the tracking system rotates the PV plant so that the modules face the most sun throughout the day. As the facility floats on water, it does not take much energy to do this, just a small amount of power being used from the plant for the rotation of the entire system.
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It is a 465 kWp system and around 8,000 square meters in size. SolarPark Korea supplied 1,550 72-cell multicrystalline modules for the test project. The cooling effect of the water on the modules should prove to show an additional 10% increase in energy production — when compared to a ground-mounted system.
Such floating PV power plants do other things as well. They reduce algae growth, for example. Additionally, they have the ability to merge as hatcheries for fish inhabiting the area. Due to the easy rotation and the resulting exposure to maximum sunlight, the Sunflower Solar Power Plant’s production efficiency is 22% higher than a comparable ground-mounted PV plant.
Interest in floating power plants is increasing in this country due to the South Korean government’s existing REC (Renewable Energy Certificate) being 1.5 times higher for floating solar power plants than conventional ones on land. The Korea Rural Community Corporation plans to use 5% of the country’s water surface for the installation of floating solar power plants, for a total of 4 gigawatts worth of floating solar PV power plants.
Floating PV plants have the key benefits noted above, but perhaps more importantly, they are a solution to the lack of land found in some places. In smaller island countries like Japan, they increase environmental solutions. Anand Upadhyay, reporting for CleanTechnica recently, noted that in wake of the Fukushima accident, Japan has installed renewable energy on a large scale. Recently, the country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry announced that over 11 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity were added over the past two years. But the country isalso now piloting floating solar PV power plantsSingapore has also opted for floating solar power systems. And plenty others are also jumping into this realm.
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Image Credit: SolarPark Korea
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1 comment:


  1. Perth Solar Power is an Australian owned and operated company dealing in renewable energy products and installations solar power in Perth for all commercial and industrial purposes. Our renewable energy products offer turnkey solutions.

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