Japan : Giant floating solar power stations, The newest energy endeavor

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Japan has been working to shift more of its energy generation to renewable sources in the years since the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster, aiming to double its renewable energy output by 2030. In that rush, the country has come up with some smart ways to install distributed solar power. The latest idea has been to develop floating solar power plants that cover small inland bodies of water like ponds and reservoirs.

Solar power company Kyocera has been leading the charge and just recently launched a solar power plant that floats on a reservoir and will produce about 2,680 megawatt hours per year — enough for 820 typical households. The installation consists of almost 9,100 waterproof solar panels atop a float made of a high-density polyethylene.

Kyocera previously installed this technology in two smaller power plants over ponds earlier this year.

Why make floating solar power plants when the land-based ones do just fine? Well, there are three major benefits to marine solar tech. The first is that they don’t take up any land space. In Japan where cities are dense, agricultural land is limited, and rooftop solar has really taken off, water-based solar power is another way to rack up some clean energy, without taking up extra space.

The second, and most important, is that the water helps the solar panels perform better. The water keeps the panels cool, which makes them operate more efficiently and helps them last longer.

The third benefit is to the body of water itself. When panels are placed over reservoirs, they discourage water evaporation and algae growth, both of which keep the reservoirs fuller and healthier.

Kyocera has even bigger plans for floating solar power. The company is working on a 13.4-megawatt project on the Yamakura Dam reservoir, which will be the largest floating solar installation in the world when it starts operation in March 2016.

The plant will be comprised of approximately 50,000 Kyocera modules over a water surface area of 180,000m2. It will generate about 15,635 megawatt hours (MWh) per year, the equivalent of the energy demand of 4,700 typical households.

Source: Tree Hugger

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1 Comment

  1. Minwoo Kim

    25/06/2015 at 6:55 am

    ll of floating solar power systems are wonderful ideas. 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 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.

    Recently, Restoring Force Strengthened Mooring Systems and Floating Body Stabilizers have been used for floating solar plants in South Korea.

    You can see them in Ochang Dam, South Korea. I N I WORLD

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