Photovoltaics on water – floating solar farms

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The development of photovoltaics and awareness of obtaining electricity from the sun has resulted in a huge increase in demand for such installations. No one is surprised anymore by solar farms passed on the way to vacations, more installations on the roofs of houses, offices, factories. It is increasingly difficult to find a place for large solar farms on the ground, and in some parts of the world it is impossible to build such an installation. Why not build a floating photovoltaic farm on water?


Floating solar farms already exist! And they are beneficial..

In a standard installation mounted on the ground, efficiency decreases due to the high surface temperature of the panels. Natural cooling from the water surface of floating solar farms increases the efficiency of the system by up to 15%. In addition, there is much less dust and dust floating above the water tanks, which could settle on the panels and negatively affect their performance. The installation itself takes up less space than a traditional farm on the ground.

A floating photovoltaic farm also benefits the aquatic environment in that it reduces water evaporation by shading the reservoir, thus reducing algae blooms. In addition, it mitigates waves that degrade the shoreline. That is, it minimizes the adverse impact of waves on the coast.


Photovoltaics on water – how is this possible!

Solar panels are combined into large structures that form farms. How does photovoltaics stay on the water? There are several possibilities.

  • A pontoon system consists of a number of plastic platforms that are connected together to form structures for a floating photovoltaic farm.
  • Asemi-submersible system consists of flexible PV panels that are placed directly on the surface of the water using floats. Thanks to this solution, the installation ripples along with the water.
  • Particularly noteworthy are concentrator mounting systems, which are equipped with an additional element – a reflecting mirror. Such a system allows to increase the directional radiation, and thus the efficiency of the installation.
  • An interesting solution is created by flexible hexagonal systems, which form islands that can be combined with subsequent structures.

Each system provides the entire installation with resistance to weather conditions, including wind, snow, rain or hail.


Huge floating photovoltaic farm in Singapore

Singapore is a small country that does not have access to natural energy sources such as wind and water. Most of its electricity, about 97%, is generated there from natural gas. Nevertheless, measures have been made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere by half by 2030. Implementation of the “Green Plan” is possible, thanks to the construction of floating solar farms in marine waters. It is planned to increase the energy extracted from the sun to 1.5 GW by 2025, and then to 2 GW by 2030. The area of the installation launched in 2021 is comparable to 45 football fields.

pływająca farma fotowoltaiczna w Singapurze


Fotowoltaika na wodzie, Singapur



Photovoltaic panels on water in Poland?

In the Kujawsko-Pomorskie province, Arta Energy, a company from Toruń, has realized the construction of a 0.5 MW installation on a reservoir created after gravel extraction. The farm was built in winter on a sheet of ice when the reservoir was frozen. The company said it has completed two smaller projects of 50 kW each.

However, the leader in the construction of floating solar farms in Poland is likely to be ZE PAK. A 60MW floating photovoltaic farm is to be built on the Janiszew reservoir in the Brudzew municipality. The reservoir was created after flooding one of the pits of the Adamów Lignite Mine. The area the installation will occupy is to be 38 hectares.

Brudzew fotowoltaika pływająca farma

Sources: Presentation by Brudzew Commune Office on revitalization of post-industrial areas. Photo: UG Brudzew




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