Photovoltaics

PV Across Canals

Two major advantages to building photovoltaic (PV) plants atop irrigation canals are: efficient and cheap land use and reduced water evaporation from the channels underneath. Leading the way in these type of projects is India. According to the Indian government agency that administers PV irrigation projects, a 10 megawatt plant saves 40 acres of land and will potentially prevent 24 million gallons of water from evaporating each year. In addition, lower temperatures due to the water body below the canal-top plants boosts PV panel efficiency by approximately 7 percent. Disadvantages include higher construction costs, long-term exposure to environmental stresses, ingress of water into the panels which could reduce their performance, and questions about keeping long stretches of PV panels secure. Another problem is that PV panels are usually mounted facing southwards for optimal performance, but canals generally curve and change directions. Additional research into overcoming some of these disadvantages could help to address multiple water and energy challenges. 


January 16, 2015--India builds solar plants atop canals to save on land, water (Water Quality News)

As India moves to ramp up investment in solar power, it is exploring innovative places to install solar plants, including across the top of canals. Last weekend, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon inaugurated a new "canal-top" solar energy plant in Vadodara district in India's western state of Gujarat.


January 9, 2011--Town sets micro-hydro goals (Telluride Daily Planet)

The Town of Telluride is on the verge of powering up the first large-scale, town-owned alternative energy project: a 112-kilowatt photovoltaic solar array at the wastewater treatment plant at Society Turn.


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