WEDNESDAY 19 JANUARY, 2011 |
The Aquatic Solar Farm
Solar power may be clean and green and very efficient in terms of space
requirements when it comes to rooftop solar energy systems; but major solar
farms require large tracts of land. Addressing this issue is Israel-based
Solaris Synergy's Floating Concentrating Photovoltaic (F-CPV) system.
Featuring a modular design, the F-CPV system can be tailored to produce anything
from a few kilowatts of electricity to many megawatts.
Made from plastic and fibreglass, the platform can also significantly reduce
evaporation and growth of algae - an aspect that may be of particular interest
to Australian farmers as the system could be installed in farm dams.
The concept was a winner at Israel's I national Cleantech Open IDEAS competition
late last year,
According to a press
from the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the solar panels used
have a curved mirrored film that focuses sunlight into a thin line; meaning that
less silicon is needed to be used for each module.
However, this focused sunlight also means increased heat - an enemy of silicon
based photovoltaics - so the Solaris Synergy team have patented an evaporative
cooling system that utilizes the water source beneath. The "cold
silicon" approach means the system can achieve conversion efficiencies of
around 20% says co-founder and CEO Yossi Fisher
A solar tracking system is incorporated into the aquatic solar farm to maximise
the amount of electricity produced. A small engine slowly rotates the system to
ensure the light stays focused on the line of silicon material.
Mr. Fisher says if F-CPV systems were installed at all Israel's recycled wastewater reservoirs,
the country could achieve its goal of generating 10-20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by
farms in Australia
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