Made in the UK: largest floating solar array in the world

March 22, 2016 | 13:29
Made in the UK: largest floating solar array in the world
Made in the UK: largest floating solar array in the world
Quietly, quietly, on the Queen Elizabeth II reservoir approximately 20 miles from London, floats a solar panel array with a top capacity of 6.3 MW and able to generate approximately 5.8 million kWh during the first year of its operation.

The array consists of 23,000 solar photovoltaic panels atop 61,000 floating platforms, which are held in place by 177 anchors—the overall result is an array approximately 128.3 hectares in size (approximately 6 percent of the surface of the reservoir) with a perimeter of 4.3 km.

One of the advantages over those on land, floating panels benefit from constant cooling provided by the water below. Floating arrays are also easier and cheaper to build — individual panels are placed onto their platforms and floated out to the main unit where they are simply attached and anchored, which makes adding additional panels in the future a simple matter.

Another advantage are that they use space that is not being used for any other purpose, and shielding the water from the sun, reducing algae growth.
 
 
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