UK to unveil largest floating solar array in the world

Discussion in 'Architecture & Engineering' started by Plazma Inferno!, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

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    Workers with Ennoviga Solar and Lightsource Renewable Energy are set to unveil the largest floating solar array in the world, later this month. The five year project was commissioned by Thames Water and the electricity produced by the array will go towards powering water treatment plants that support London and surrounding areas, costing $8.3 million.
    The array has been built on the Queen Elizabeth II reservoir, which sits approximately 20 miles from London, and will have a top capacity of 6.3 MW, able to generate approximately 5.8 million kWh during the first year of its operation. The project is part of a pledge by Thames Water to become a more sustainable business by making its own electricity—their goal is to produce 33 percent of their needs by 2020 (they are currently at 12.5 percent due to operating solar arrays at 41 of their existing sites). The array at the QEII reservoir consists of 23,000 solar photovoltaic panels atop 61,000 floating platforms, which are held in place by 177 anchors—the overall result is an array approximately 128.3 hectares in size (approximately 6 percent of the surface of the reservoir) with a perimeter of 4.3km.

    http://techxplore.com/news/2016-03-uk-unveil-largest-solar-array.html
     
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    But, to get this into perspective, this array will produce a mean power output < 1MW - about as much as a single, small, medium speed engine.

    (1MW = 1000kW. There are 8760hrs in a year of 365 days. So a 1MW engine running 24/7 generates 8.76 million kWh over a year, whereas this array generates only 2/3 of that.)

    Given that nobody is going to be allowed to float solar cells on all our lakes and rivers, the question, I suppose, is whether solar cells can be floated on the sea. I can imagine some challenges there.
     
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  5. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

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    Well, if you design the flotation devices to convert wave motion to electricity you get two for the price of one and a half.
     
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  7. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Now there's an idea.

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  8. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

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    And if you anchor it to the seabed you could use tidal energy also.

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  9. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Mind you, by this stage, the "it" in question has to be quite a piece of engineering.......

    Maybe we should go the whole hog and grow tomatoes on it, while we're about it?

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  10. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

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    Brazil is heading toward the same direction. Engineers in Brazil have developed a system of floating solar panels for a part of the Amazon that was flooded and destroyed by a hydroelectric dam project in the 1980s. This is a part of an effort to correct past mistakes to try to flip a past environmental disaster, caused by a hydroelectric dam project, into a positive source of solar energy.
    http://www.telesurtv.net/english/ne...s-to-Correct-Past-Mistakes-20160313-0008.html
     

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