We have previously made reference to solar panels being floated on the surface of water in various parts of the world. Well, a few weeks ago, Japan completed the construction of what is currently reported to be the largest solar panel plant built to float on water in the world.
Kyocera TCL Solar has built the 2.3 MW plant in Hyogo Prefecture in Western Japan that is capable of producing around 2,680 MWh of electricity each year. To put this into context, making certain assumptions, that is estimated to be enough electricity to provide power for about 820 average sized homes.
To build the solar power station, it has needed 9,072 solar panels. The station covers an area of about 25,000 square meters on the surface of a reservoir so is a considerable size. The solar panels have been placed on a float that has used polyethylene in its construction. Apparently, solar panels that are floated on water are capable of producing a greater amount of electricity than those that are mounted on the ground as the water cools the panels down.
The electricity that is generated by these floating solar panels is to be sold to the Kansai Electric Power Co in Osaka.
Here in the UK, we have a huge expanse of water that could potentially be used more frequently to house solar panels. Just think of the number of reservoirs that we have in this country. Could some of the surface area be set aside to accommodate solar panels? Obviously, the cost of such schemes would need to be compared with the likes of ground-mounted or rooftop based ones that are undoubtedly the most popular ones that we currently see.
We will continue to keep you updated about any more interesting solar panel projects that we hear about but do feel free to tell us about any.