Ocean

Floating Solar Farms, and problem solved…

Large fields with solar panels floating on the sea? Because due to the continuous cooling they would be a great idea, particularly efficient. There is also ample space and areas were with not too strong waves. Austrian engineers resolves this problem easily and yet no patents are involved… thats interesting. They present their idea at the Hannover Expo, we suggest to check.

Foam crowns on meter-high waves, heavy wind, boats rock greatly: in such rough seas, a flat, rigid platform breaks down very quickly. And that is the great obstacle to the construction of solar fields on the sea. Although in many places, which could solve space and energy problems, but: “Would you mount a platform just to air-filled closed container, the construction should be carried out uneconomical heavy and robust”, explains Prof. Markus Haider from the Institute for energy technology and thermodynamics of TU Vienna. Or but she would just not long withstand a strong swell.

Floating Farms
Solar panels can be arranged also something about the sea and in the Sun. Photo: Vienna University

Exactly this dilemma has now resolved according to own statements Haider’s research group. They call their lightweight construction, which currently present on the Hannover Expo 2016 “Helio Flat”. “The ultimate trick is that Heliofloat is supported by open swimming pool floats,” explains Haider. Each individual buoyancy should be like a down open barrel made of a soft, flexible material that floating in the water.

Columns of air act like shock absorbers

The column of air in the upper part of the body is so direct contact with the water and therefore acts as a shock absorber. To get that “Barrels” because of their flexible side panels take only low horizontal forces.

A number of this tank a level commercial, which up to 100 m long can be the Vienna scientists according to surface. “If you properly sized air tanks, the waves can go below up and down by Heliofloat, without significantly affecting the platform. The investment hovers quietly above the water. With closed and rigid air pockets that would be impossible”, says Haider.

Water cools the plant constantly

Installation of floating solar fields is not impossible, however, also so far yet. This proves a system of technology company Kyocera in Japan, which provides power for two and a half years. She was built at Kagoshima on Kyushu island and is able to withstand up to 190 km/h and differences of 6 m water level designers according to wind speeds.