Environment

Energy company to test floating solar islands

Energy company to test floatin...
(Image: Viteos)
(Image: Viteos)
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(Image: Viteos)
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(Image: Viteos)
Mock-up of the solar island (Image: Nolaris)
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Mock-up of the solar island (Image: Nolaris)
Mock-up of the solar island
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Mock-up of the solar island
Lake Neuchâtel, Switzerland (Image: TerraMetrics/Google)
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Lake Neuchâtel, Switzerland (Image: TerraMetrics/Google)
The spacing of the islands (Image: Viteos)
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The spacing of the islands (Image: Viteos)
Visualization of the islands (Image: Viteos)
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Visualization of the islands (Image: Viteos)
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Swiss energy company Viteos has announced that it is to build three floating solar arrays on Lake Neuchâtel. Viteos will work with tech company and "energy enabler" Nolaris to build the 25-m (82-ft) diameter islands, each with 100 photovoltaic panels.

Viteos stresses that the islands are for research and development purposes rather than a practical and cost-effective means of generating energy. In a press release, Viteos Technical Director Philippe Burri explained that the islands would allow the company to observe the corrosive effects of water, wind and waves on the installation.

Lake Neuchâtel, Switzerland (Image: TerraMetrics/Google)
Lake Neuchâtel, Switzerland (Image: TerraMetrics/Google)

The islands will supposedly rotate through 220° in order to track the sun to maximize generation. They will be made from a compartmentalized inflatable ring in order to reduce cost, ease installation and dismantling. The islands will be installed on a part of the lake closed to boats.

Viteos says will be kept at Neuchâtel port between May and August before being towed and installed at their final location by early 2014. There they are expected to be tested for 25 years.

Source: Viteos, via PV Tech

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8 comments
James Barbour
Seriously? Someone believes that building a boat has a lower initial cost and lifetime maintenance cost than a sun tracking pedestal? Covering up a lake's surface has got to be great for the environment as well. Who finances these schemes??
Arahant
Well like they said they are testing the corrosive effects of these installations long-term, there are many applications where power is needed in aqua-environments, it specificaly said in the article this wasn't meant to be a "practical and cost-effective means of generating energy". Also that lake is HUGE, 3x 80' disks isnt going to hurt the eco system, and with the warming of lake water around the globe which is having negative ecological effects, even if it did have an impact it would more then likely be positive. The people who finance these "schemes" are the ones making the big bucks so maby just listen next time.
Jay Finke
WOW great idea, much better than wind and I bet the fish love these, we all know it's cooler in the shade. and material nowadays is amazingly strong, not to mention the efficiency of the new solar cells, one of these floating power plants could be a amazing source of free eco green energy. you got to crawl before you walk
billybob1851
thank you Arahant!
민우 김
Obama's energy policy is right. The world goes solar. Japan's FiT in July is among the highest in the world. Japan's FiT is shaking the solar market. Now, USA has the same options. New solutions will be showed in Japan. This is it! As you know, earthquake in Japan is happening frequently. Floating photovoltaic system is one of the best solutions for power crisis in Japan. Every year Some typhoons arrive Japan. The typhoon has strong wind. Floating photovoltaic system must have constructed to resist typhoons. So you have to reduce vibration to install floating solar power generation system. Because, it can make micro-cracks to floating solar panels and the durability problem of floating photovoltaic system. The risk of power loss in PV modules due to micro cracks is increasing. Vibrations caused by wind, waves and external forces. New Floating Body Stabilizer for floating photovoltaic system has been created in South Korea. The Floating Body Stabilizers generate drag force immediately when Floating solar panels are being rolled, pitched and yawed on the water. Recently, these Floating Body Stabilizers have been used to reduce vibration of Floating Solar Panels in South Korea. You can watch New Floating Body Stabilizer videos on YouTube. www//youtu.be/O2oys_YHhCc, www.youtube.com/watch?v=nA_xFp5ktbU&feature=youtu.be. Floating photovoltaic system also needs the directional control mooring technology. Directional change of solar panels reduces electricity production. So it's very important to maintain effectively same direction and position on the water.
Guillaume Levesque
Maybe they are developing this for the advent of Water World!! :) Mostly kidding...
Max Fdez
I have been working on a similar approach for floating sun-tracking systems since 2010. I believe they will be a great option for cities along lakes and other sweet water beds. As technology keeps improving the efficiency and cost of solar panels, sun tracking remains the best way to get the most potential juice out of them. Yet, its expensive to do. Economics and common sense will solve the equation at the end. Max Fdez
MinwooKim
Floating Solar Plant's wonderful idea. And it’s very important to maintain effectively same direction and position on the water for floating solar plants. Because directional change of solar panels reduces electricity production. So floating solar plants also need the directional control mooring systems for their parked positions. Azimuth and position change of floating solar plants caused by wind, waves and external forces. Restoring Force Strengthened Mooring System for floating solar plants has been created by INIWORLD in South Korea. This Mooring System generates Restoring Force immediately when floating solar plants are being rotated or moved on the water. In addition, you have to reduce vibration to install floating solar plants. Because, it can make micro-cracks to floating solar panels and the durability problem of floating solar plants. The risk of power loss in PV modules due to micro cracks is increasing. Vibrations caused by wind, waves and external forces. New Type Floating Body Stabilizer has been created in South Korea. The Floating Body Stabilizers generate drag force immediately when floating solar plants are being rolled, pitched and yawed on the water. You can see them in Ochang Dam natural reservoir, South Korea. I N I WORLD