Floating Photovoltaics (FPV) are solar power panels installed on water. The solar panels are fixed to floaters and placed on lakes, ponds, reservoirs.
Why install floating solar panels?
Well, for starters, the land is in limited supply and there are numerous economically viable ways in which the land is being utilised. The cost of setting up and operating the solar panels on land surface is generally high. The floating solar panels are setup on water bodies that have no other alternate use and are therefore financially more attractive.
The other solid reason to setup the panels on water is got to do with the efficiency factor. The water underneath the solar panels act as a natural coolant to the scorching heat coming from above. The system holding the panels on open land or roof tops are often affected by extreme heat conditions resulting in a drop in the efficiency levels of the panels.
The side-benefit of setting up floating solar panels is that it helps conserve water or rather prevents loss of water by evaporation. The floating panels serve as a shade preventing any buildup of heat in the waters. With many areas suffering from drought, floating solar panels would be a boon – a case of killing two birds with a stone. In fact, there is a third bird that gets killed. Versus open lakes/ponds, a covered water body accumulate zero pollution, have no algae growth and hence are eco-friendly. Of course, there is the danger of the aquatic life getting affected since the whole place will be covered all the time.