Growing resistance to the construction of wind turbines or fields of solar panels on land has led the renewable energy industry to look for alternative options.
Large islands of solar panels are under construction or already in place in reservoirs and lakes across the Netherlands, China, the UK and Japan.
In a development that is to become the largest of its type in the world, construction will begin this year on 15 solar islands on the Andijk reservoir in north Holland.
The islands, containing 73,500 panels, will have the sunflower-like ability to move to face the light.
The first phase of the project, involving three islands, each of which will be 140 metres in diameter, is due to be finished by November, once the migratory season for birds has come to an end.
The sun-tracking system involves three buoys for anchoring with cable around it, which turns the island and at the same time keeps the island together. It ensures the island is turned towards the sun.
Another feature of the islands is that they can reposition themselves in extreme weather to minimize damage.
The project thus has optimal solar tracking, which is generating extra energy, and weather risk management [WRM], which is a technology that makes sure that if an island is under severe pressure due to wind or storms, it moves itself automatically in a position so the wind and waves travel easily through the island.
To avoid damaging the reservoir’s ecosystems, half its surface area will be covered by the islands. The added benefit of floating solar panels is that the water cools the electrical wiring.
This will be the world’s largest archipelago of islands made up of sun-tracking solar panels when completed.
Reference- The Guardian