A two-phase assessment of the economic and technological feasibility of deploying large-scale floating photovoltaic (PV) systems on inland water bodies is underway in Singapore.

Floating PV test structure. Source: National University of SingaporeFloating PV test structure. Source: National University of SingaporeThe floating PV test-bed is operated by the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS) at National University of Singapore on the Tengeh Reservoir (see video). The initiative is spearheaded by Singapore Economic Development Board and the Public Utilities Board. The latter, the national water agency, will also study the impact on water evaporation, water quality, and biodiversity.

In the first phase, the one-hectare test-bed will be used to examine 10 different types of floating structures and PV modules, each generating about 100 kW of power. After a six-month evaluation, the two best-performing systems will moved to Phase 2 in 2017, when each will be required to generate 1 MW.

SERIS researchers will also demonstrate a monitoring solution which tracks movements along three dimensions as well as their respective rotations in real time. The system is expected to be particularly useful for future off-shore PV structures.

To contact the author of this article, email engineering360editors@globalspec.com