Over the years photovoltaic systems have been successfully deployed on land and in free space to generate energy. These commonly used solar energy systems have two weaknesses: cost associated with the solar cells fabrication & maintenance and requirement of vast land area. These challenges are recovered by the new floating solar panels systems. In past few years, a myriad of solar systems have been installed on rivers, canals, reservoirs, ponds and oceans; augmenting the global market for floating solar panels.
The leading companies in the solar market struggle to find land to install solar panels, and hence deploying solar panels over the industrial water basins or on the rivers will give a win-win situation to them. Countries with scare land space such as Singapore, which has population of around 5.4 million in 2013 and 714 square kilometers of total land area demands floating solar panels thereby, embellishing the global floating solar panels market.
One of the drivers of the global floating solar panels is the rents and business tax earned by the reservoir owner. Further, it also allows the plant operators to rent the reservoir cheaply and with no reclamation cost. Moreover, the floating solar panel enables low maintenance and management cost. Floating solar panels can also be easily moved according to the sun’s position. The buoyant photovoltaic panel brings several benefits such as water evaporation prevention thereby saving water, especially in places with dry climate. Furthermore, another driver of the global floating solar panels market is the higher efficiency provided by the floating panels.
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The cooling effect produced by the water helps to maintain the temperature of the silicon panels thereby upholding the efficiency. Apart from maintaining constant temperature, the placement of solar cells in water inhibits algae growth. One of the restraints of the global floating solar panels market is the large cost of installation and securing profitability at the same time. The floating solar panel market has several opportunities as it can be placed in industrial ponds such as water treatment plant and it can provide electricity to the treatment plant. Moreover, it can also be planted in the hydroelectric plants. Additionally, the installation of floating panels cannot be done in sea as the waves will prevent the angular position of sun and the wind speed will also affect the amount of electricity generation.
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