We already have solar power plants in the deserts and now, two Swiss companies, Viteos SA and Nolaris, have joined hands to take the solar power straight onto the waters. They are working on three floating laboratories in lake Neuchâtel, Switzerland, which will be powered by concentrated solar power (CSP). Scheduled for launch by this year’s end, these floating buoyed solar islands will be located 150 meters from the shore. The floating labs will function as research facilities to study and demonstrate the efficacy of concentrated solar power on water.
PV-Tech notes that the islands will have a diameter of 25 meters and will come covered with 100 PV panels each. Each solar island will produce 33kW electricity. Each panel will be back-to-back on a 45-degrees incline and the islands will be able to move 220-degrees in the direction of the sun, following it throughout the day. There is increase in effectiveness, as the location on the water lowers its resistance. The solar islands will be anchored to the bottom of the lake by cables that connect to concrete blocks. These floating solar labs will also be connected to the electricity grid at the shore by Viteos inverters.
The solar islands will work for 25 straight years and after decommissioning, all the parts will be recycled. Swiss energy company Viteos SA has plans to invest more than CHF 100 million (US$108 million) and raise its own output to more than 80 million kW hours within 10 years from now. Considering the current energy scenarios, the whole idea of floating solar islands is interesting and without doubt, praiseworthy.