Floating solar energy farm for South Australia – a national first

Australian-first floating solar farm due to begin construction in SA ABC News By Matthew Doran, 5 Mar 15 An Australian-first floating solar power plant is expected to be operational in South Australia by early April, with construction about to begin. (Below – a floating solar energy plant in France) 

solar-floating-plant-France

 

The plant will float on a wastewater treatment facility in Jamestown in the state’s mid north. Felicia Whiting of Infratech Industries said the plant was designed so that much of the construction could be carried out offsite and slotted together at the facility. “We should see some plant on the site within about two weeks,” Ms Whiting said.

She also explained that as the solar panels were floating they would be kept cool by the water mass, making them about 57 per cent more efficient than land-based solar panels. “It prevents water evaporation up to 90 per cent of the surface area covered, and for dry states and dry climates that’s a big water saving measure,” Ms Whiting said.

“It prevents the outbreak of blue-green algae by keeping the surface water cool, which is for treated wastewater an issue in water quality. “By preventing photosynthesis, the energy from the sun goes into the panel rather than into the water.”……

Ms Whiting said that once operational, the plant would become Infratech’s showpiece for export around the world.”We’ve invested our whole research and development program in this technology over the past two years in South Australia,” she said.

“We have other councils waiting to have a look at this and see how it might be adapted to a water basin or a community wastewater management scheme.

“We are using Australian engineering and it’s an Australian supply chain – that will be taken internationally.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-05/australian-first-floating-solar-farm-for-sa/6281374

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