Solar technology is the cleanest and most profitable renewable energy resource available today. The solar industry in Malaysia is now developing the implementation of floating solar farms.
Judging from the fact that Malaysia is one of the largest solar PV manufacturers in the world, it is not surprising that it can have one of the most efficient solar farms in the world. Right now, the entire solar power industry in Malaysia is producing 67% of the 270 MW of renewable energy.
Moreover, the industry is now looking to implement a floating solar farm to provide more people with green energy.
Solar technology can be used for domestic, commercial, and industrial purposes. It has a wide variety of uses that include electricity and light generation.
A solar floating farm refers to a formation of solar panels on construction that floats on a body of water, in most cases an artificial basin or a lake.
It was in 2007, in Japan where the first floating solar farm was installed. The first commercial installation was in California in 2008. Since then, this technology has had a rapid growth. As of 2014, the first 20 plants had been built around the world, overcoming the 200 MW of installed power.
Right now, China has the largest floating solar farm in the world, The solar farm that is located in Anhui Province can produce 150 megawatts, supporting approximately 112,500 residents.
Benefits of Solar Floating Farms
No Land Space
Floating solar farms are great for countries with a limited space of land. They can be used in areas such as lakes, and make them a powerful solar energy generator.
Solar Floating Farms cost less to install than land-based solar panels.
First, you don’t need to buy a parcel of land, which can be expensive. And there is no need to treat the soil or clean the land.
Plus it boosts the solar panels power production by 22% thanks to the natural cooling effect of the water.
How does a Floating Solar Farm Works?
The solar panels are connected to interrelated, plastic rafts that let them stay floating. In these floating solar farms, there are also pathways so workers can install, and reach the solar panels.
All the materials used are made for water environments. Inverters are not in the water but they are located onshore, and the wire are water-resistant or buoyed by flotation devices.
There are also other things to consider — the connection between the solar panels needs to be strong to keep them together. The floating solar farms are designed to be able to resist small waves and of course strong winds.
This type of solar panels systems cannot be installed on the ocean because of the damage that can cause to them (sea salt and big waves are the culprits). But with all the technological advancements, this will be possible in the future. For now, the perfect location for these solar power systems is above the lakes.
Floating Solar Plants: A Reality
Many countries around the world including Japan, China, France, Indonesia and Singapore, have already made floating solar plants a reality.
In Malaysia, due to the land scarcity issue, the best solution for large scale solar is developing floating photovoltaic (PV) systems. There are a lot of water areas that can be used. For example, in Selangor alone there are more than 50 lakes.
Right now Malaysia is developing the first floating solar farm in Sg Labu Water Treatment in Silak Tinggi Reservoir, Selangor. The 432 solar panels installed on the floating farm can generate enough solar energy for 20 houses annually.
In a Nutshell
By 2020, Malaysia is expecting to complete the installation of 2000 MW of renewable energy.
Without a doubt, floating solar farms are the best solution in places with lots of water. These areas have what it takes to produce solar energy efficiently.