Our invention addresses the paradox of ‘scarcity amidst plenty’ with respect to high solar PV electricity penetration in India. This problem is multi faceted that delves into:
Land-use land cover changes
The envisaged shift towards renewable energy, technologies with relatively larger spatial footprint, require large-scale land acquisition thereby leading to conversion of valuable land. Clearing precious land, with a high opportunity cost, for a power plant may have long-term effects on habitat areas for native plants and animals as the land remains blocked for a period of at least 25 years and has a high probability of loss of prevalent ecosystem services.
Contemporary ground based solar PV power plants sub-optimally utilize available insolation as they lose efficiency and resultant energy yield due to high ambient temperatures, accompanying dust and near shading losses from vegetation. On the other hand, India has equitably distributed water bodies such as lakes, ponds and dams that have a cumulative surface area of 38,000 sq. km.
Implicit water-energy nexus
Solar power plants require water, largely ground or surface, for cleaning. Using large volumes of in some arid locations may affect the ecosystems that depend on these water resources. On the other hand, we loose water due to water due to evaporation, equivalent to 100 Billion Cubic Meter (BCM)/annum from exposed surface area of aforementioned water bodies, which is equivalent to the total domestic water consumption of India. We were called “one of the most innovative companies” by Central Water Commission (CWC), Government of India.
Chandigarh Renewable Energy and Science & Technology Promotion Society
Design Manufacture Supply Erection Testing and Commissioning of 10 kWp Floating SPV Solar Power Plant with Fountain and 5 years CMC at Dhanas Lake Chandigarh
The project is amongst the first pilot project of Floating Solar PV (FSPV) in India, and is considered a benchmark for future project in the country. The proposed power plant is a floating structure adaptable for water-based operation that holds multiple arrays of solar photovoltaic modules. The structure is rotatable to optimize the angular orientation thereof relative to the position of the sun. More particularly, the floating structure uses a platform that includes a large outer ring that floats on water, and a modular hierarchical hexagonal honeycomb grid supporting a plurality of rows of mounting structure which house the solar photovoltaic modules. A series of motors attached to each array of solar photovoltaic panels regulates the vertical position of the panels such that the tilt of the panel is equivalent to the altitude angle of the sun, while a propulsion system fitted onto the hexagonal honeycomb grid is responsible for keeping the panels in line with the direction of the sun.
Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL)
Design, Engineering Supply, Installation, Testing and Commissioning of Grid-Connected 100 kWp Fixed Tilt Floating (Land-Neutral) Solar PV power Plant
The proposed power plant is a floating structure that supports multiple arrays of Solar PV modules at a fixed tilt.The plant is housed in a raw water reservoir (RWH), located in the Naptha Cracker unit of IOCL. The motivation behind the development of the 100 kWp land-neutral solar PV power plants is threefold, namely [a] avoiding the displacement of land that could be used for expansion of infrastructure in the refinery complex; [b] reduction in evaporation losses from reservoir, a definite positive for the plant; and [c] accumulation of benefits from additional energy yield, largely due to the result of cooling (of solar PV modules) from water, consistent with the negative temperature coefficient performance for PV modules. The aforementioned project is a demonstration project that would pave the way for up-scaling of such plants in the IOCL complexes located in various parts of the country. FSPV is extremely beneficial for industries with large water requirements such as thermal power plants, refineries etc.