SUBJECT : Energy

It has been found out that floating solar panels generate more power than land-based solar installations under the same condition.

"Normally, a solar panel with a capacity of 10KW installed anywhere on land generates a maximum 45 units of power per hour. A similar solar panel set up on a water body has been found to generate 50 units per hour and above," said solar power expert S P Gon Chaudhuri, who heads the Arka Ignou Community College of Renewable Energy.

The country's first floating solar panel that has been installed on a 2-acre-wide water body in Rajarhat, close to Eco Park, has thrown up this finding. The panels generated more than 50 units of power on a single day last month. The floating panel was jointly installed by the renewable energy college and New Town Kolkata Development Authority in January and started operating from February.

On March 19, the panel crossed the 50-kilo watt hour (kWh) mark by generating 50.75kWh. On April 18, it recorded its highest generation so far — 51.45kWh. The panel again generated more than 50kWh on May 1 by touching 50.59kWh.

Gon Chaudhuri said 30-35kWh can usually power two ACs, four fans and 10 light bulbs daily. This means that 50kWh can meet the power demand of at least a two-storied building.

He explained the reason behind the floating solar panel generating more than a land-based panel — the base of the water body is much cooler than the surrounding of a solar panel installed on land. Floating solar panels also have other benefits. Not only does it generate pollution-free solar power, but also helps produce less carbon dioxide.

Gon Chaudhuri said there are only two other countries which have floating solar power plants — in Japan and Australia.


Source: 3 May, 2015, The Times of India