The Asturian company Energías Renovables del Principado (Erpasa) has created a new system for using photovoltaic solar energy for the aquatic environment, which has just been patented under the name “aQuätil”. This is a series of floating platforms on which the solar energy collection modules are located.
It has dimensions of 10 meters long and 2.5 meters wide, and it has a capacity of 9 photovoltaic modules. The platforms will be equipped with coupling equipment allowing the joining of several platforms. The system will be anchored to the bottom by means of a modern mooring system which allows the variation in level that the water surface can produce where it is located.
Although its location in calm areas of the sea is not excluded, the project is in principle designed to swamps, reservoirs and irrigation ponds, until now all considered an unnecessary surface for the use of photovoltaic energy.
The fact of selecting these surfaces is due to the advantages which are presented there. This is the case with irrigated ponds, generally located in the eastern part of Spain, where the radiation is much higher than in the rest of Spain. Marshes or reservoirs, where the system of connection to the network is very accessible due to their use as hydroelectric power stations, are other privileged places. The cost of the installation is equal to or less than that of the panels located on the ground and has the advantage of eliminating the problems that come with these installations, such as grass shadows, or anti-theft security issues.