FloatPac Solar floating solar systems offer a wide variety of water saving benefits which value add to the prospect of floating solar over bodies of water.
Floating solar systems naturally aid in the reduction of evaporation, thanks to the shading of the bodies of water which they cover.
As the world, and particularly dry countries, such as Australia, grapple with water scarcity and security, FloatPac Solar systems help aid this issue, shading the very water the solar arrays are floating on. This shading provides two main features:
- The shading effect inhibits evaporation of the water catchment area directly below the floating solar system, preserving that water which would otherwise simply naturally evaporate
- Installations that cover 75 – 80% of the body of water in which the floating system sits upon also help to inhibit algae growth.
How much water can FloatPac’s floating solar systems save?
Reductions of up to 600 – 700 litres / m2 / year have been reported by various floating solar systems since they were first installed. This corresponds to a reduction of around 80 – 90% of total water loss through evaporation where FloatPac Solar floating solar farms are installed. There are two key factors when considering these reported reductions:
- The shading effect of floating solar over water surfaces yields a reduction of approx 30 – 40% per year.
- Intercepting and reducing wind over the water surface (whilst carefully ensuring natural oxygenation is not affected) can yield reductions of 40 – 50% per year.
Combining these figures, in conjunction with looking at the size of the floating solar system, will give an indication of total water saved. As an example:
- A 10 MW FloatPac Solar system covers approx 105,000m2 or water surface area.
- Conservatively estimating 600 litres of water saved per square metre per annum, this equates to a saving of no less than 63 million litres of water per year through evaporation reduction.
There is also the benefit of water reclamation; Estimates by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) that up to 20,000 litres of water per MW can be reclaimed each routine cleaning session.
On a 10 MW installation (approximately 25,000 panels), that’s a saving of up to 10.4 million litres of water on a weekly cleaning schedule. Extrapolating this out over a year, this could mean the additional saving of some 540 million litres of water simply by cleaning the floating systems with the water housing the system, which then runs off the system, and back into the water body below it.
This represents a potential saving of over 600 million litres of water per annum for a 10 MW FloatPac floating solar system.
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