Photovoltaics can be one of the best solutions for energy generation in the future. Sun is expected to be an unlimited source of energy. Therefore, making use of it can be one of the wisest choices in human history. But, where could we place so many solar panels? As you know, one of the main drawbacks of solar panels is its low efficiency. Thus, we need many of them to produce enough energy. One option is making them float on water. And that’s what they have done in UK: a floating solar farm on the London’s Queen Elizabeth II reservoir.
Water surface? A floating solar farm is better
Vast amounts of water surface can be found in reservoirs or lakes all over the world. They are used for ‘nothing’ apart from storing water. Then, why don’t we look for another way to make use of them? Floating solar farms can be a good solution. Not only to generate energy, but also to diminish evaporation in dry seasons.
Thames Water wants to generate up to a third part of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. This floating solar farm is part of that goal. More than 23,000 panels will have a maximum power output of 6.3MW and produce about 5.8 million kWh, enough energy for 1,800 homes. The panels will cover about 10% of the surface of the reservoir.
Lightsource is the responsible for the management of the installation. They have required more than 61,000 floats and 170 anchors to make this project real. The construction has recently started and will be finished by 2020. As you can imagine, the experience is really positive for the company:
There is a great need from energy intensive industries to reduce their carbon footprint, as well as the amount they are spending on electricity and solar can be the perfect solution,” he said in a statement. “We’re therefore constantly evolving new skill sets to ensure that all of our projects deliver maximum energy generation over the lifetime of the installation.