Solar-Hydropower Hybrid could Revive Alternative Energy Sector

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Solar energy and hydroelectricity have been the vanguard of the alternative fuels sector due to their abundant availability and ease of harnessing. Both have significantly helped reduce the adverse impact of the energy sector on the environment, which has driven investment and new product development in the two sectors. The latest idea to emerge on to the alternative energy platform is combining solar and hydropower installations to create a sustainable hybrid energy generation site that fully utilizes the energy generation potential of a given site. The dropping prices of solar power technology and components have made solar power more widely available in recent years.

Combining Hydropower with Solar: How Does it Work?

Floating photovoltaic (FPV) is a recent innovation in the solar power sector and comprises of floating platforms anchored to the bottom and connected to onshore generators. FPVs are being paired with large dams to boost the energy generation potential of the site. As solar energy and hydropower have conventionally been considered mutually exclusive energy sources, the development of technology to link the two can be considered an important breakthrough for the energy sector.

Floating photovoltaic systems are constructed offshore before being pushed into the water body. They consist of a primary float designed to hold the main solar module lineup and secondary floats that enable steady balancing and control the buoyancy of the setup. These are arranged in rows on water bodies and connected by wires to onshore electricity generation equipment.

Prosperous Corporate Sector, Industries Quick to Incorporate Floating Photovoltaic

Rising demand from water-intensive industries, including many related to agriculture and food processing, have become key consumers of floating photovoltaic systems. The efficiency provided by FPV systems in overall use of energy has become important for small-scale operations. Corporate structures with artificial water bodies have also been leading early adopters of floating photovoltaic systems due to the increased utility they provide to aesthetic elements.

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