Floating solar stations

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According to International Energy Agency, solar photovoltaic deployment levels were globally high in 2020 in the midst of 90% grow in renewable electricity demand5. Photovoltaic (PV) can directly convert sunlight to electricity. From photovoltaic point of view, as can be seen Figure 1, there are four main factors influencing the output PV energy yield. First is the source of energy, the sunlight, then the converter which is the PV cell, further the amount of time that the PV unit can work, and finally the amount of area that PV technology is added on or integrated into. Sunlight is a given, we do not have much control on it. On top of that, PV converter efficiency is reaching its maximum theoretical efficiency6/7. And that is why researchers have now put more effort into investigating approaches to boost the lifetime of PV (the factor time)8 and also looking into possibilities to add PV on or integrated it into any possible surface (the factor area)9. However, due to low efficiency of PV modules, they occupy considerable amount of area, which can be used for other essential needs of human kind, such as food and accommodation. World population is growing and the demand for food, accommodation, and green energy is also increasing. Therefore, agriculture and energy sectors might compete or already are competing over land. This inevitably brings the attention to another vastly available surface area, the water. Simply placing any type of PV system on top of (or even submerged into) water bodies, such as lakes, reservoirs, hydroelectric dams, industrial and irrigation ponds, and coastal lagoons, is called floating PV (FPV) or floatovoltaics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-43
Number of pages14
Journal10 breakthrough ideas in energy for the next 10 years
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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