With little land to ramp up the adoption of solar power, Singapore is instead turning to the water all around it to test the viability of floating photovoltaic power plant.
With a high average annual solar irradiation of some 1,500 kWh/m2, Singapore is an attractive source of renewable energy.
But land scarcity has severely limited the country’s adoption of solar power with only 719 square kilometres available to a growing population of 5.6 million.
One possible solution for the city-state surrounded by water is floating solar panels, according to ABB. The Swiss technology group is providing critical components on a landmark 1 MW floating solar photovoltaic test-bed measuring 1 hectare or 1.5 football fields.
Located in the Tengeh Reservoir in west Singapore, the installation will feed energy into the national energy grid to provide electricity for up to 250 households.
Floating solar platforms hold considerable potential, even for countries with an abundance of land.
According to a study, floating solar platforms are naturally cooled by the surrounding water, increasing the efficiency of the energy yields significantly. And the natural cooling effect of the water beneath the solar cells makes them up to 11 per cent more efficient than solar panels placed on land.
The floating platform also helps reduce evaporation of valuable water in what ABB calls “a synergistic effect”.
Image credit: ABB