Sunday, February 27, 2011

Floating Soil Panels

New floating soil panels are about to overcome the two major challenges that the current solar energy cause: they require vast land area in order to be built and the cost of the solar cells fabrication and maintenance is very high.

The team has decided that they were going to take on the struggle of finding somewhere to install the solar panels. The idea of putting the solar panels on the water is a new concept. The panels are put on industrial water basins that are already in use for other purposes. The team worked hard to reduce the cost of the project. They reduced the quantity of solar cells used due to a sun energy concentration system based on mirrors and also keeps steady the amount of power produced.

Due to the system being built on the water, the water can be used as a cooling system to prevent the silicon cells from overheating. The silicon cells are more reliable and lower in cost than other standard cells/ These panels are designed so that they can be assembled with just the amount of needed modules depending on the power rate needed. Each modulus produces about 200 kilowatts.

In addition to the price and power, the solar panels also provide a breathing surface and allows oxygen to penetrate to the water. Because of this breathing surface, the panels will maintain the underwater life of plants and animals.

This new solar concept was developed by a Franco-Israeli partnership (there is a collaboration between the EDF Group of France and Solaris Synergy from Israel). The team is planning to start to implement the idea in September 2011. The test site will be located at Cadarache, in the South East of France. This site was chosen because its position on the French electric grid and being close to a local hydro-electric facility which will provide the water surface for the insulation of the solar panels. The testing will continue for nine months so that the team can monitor the system's performance and productivity through the seasonal changes and various water levels. The project will be closely monitored the possible effects of the environment especially water quality, flora, and fauna.

Source : www.


  1. This is a really great idea to use the surface area of water as a surface for solar panels. The only problem I can forsee is that the solar panels will absorb all of the light. Without light the phytoplankton will not be able to survive which could throw off the entire ecosystem of the waterway. It's an interesting topic and I look forward to keeping up with it!

  2. These products are often constructed from hundreds of a type of solar power systems collection cell called a photovoltaic cell. The name of this type of cell makes reference to the fact that the cell generates electricity from light.

  3. I assume these panels would be installed on cooling ponds or other ponds related to industrial needs, and thus the potential area for installation is limited by that. Nonetheless, it is a great use of an area that may not have other applications. I am not sure about the compatibility with phytoplankton and a freshwater ecosystem if a significant amount of light is reduced. I think for solar to work however, it will be necessary to consider different possible applications, and each source will contribute to the cumulative contribution (including rooftop, parking ultrastructures, etc.).