Cool Tech of the Week: Solar Water Lilies

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Concept Solar Panels on the River ClydeAesthetic. Original. Functional. Who knew solar panels could make a statement?

Apparently Peter Richardson knew when he submitted a winning solar design to the International Design Awards. His idea is to turn disused water ways into functional space by populating them with solar panels shaped like water lilies. Aiming to increase quality of life, while generating energy, the lilies so impressed the Glasgow City Council that they expressed interest in developing a pilot project.

The technology itself is easily within reach:

They can be moved and dismantled and are simply tethered to the river bed, integrated motors can rotate the discs so their orientation to the sun is maximised throughout the day.” (Project Description)

In other words, no new technology required, just some clever design. My concern would be recreational or commercial river traffic (how “disused”must the waterway be?). Would waves from wake disrupt the solar lilies? What about an impact on wildlife or wildlife’s impact on the panels? What if the river ices over in the winter? One hopes a pilot project would figure out the kinks.

What do readers think – would a product like this in your local water way make an impact on your community? (More images here) Chip in a few dollars a month to help support independent cleantech coverage that helps to accelerate the cleantech revolution!

Congratulations to Mr. Richardson and his firm, ZM Architecture for winning the Land and Sea Architecture award of the International Design Awards.

via BBC

Related links:

4 Things to Consider before Going Solar

Solar Leases Take Industry by Storm

Solar Thermal Housing Development

Image via the International Design Awards

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