A solar power plant which is intended to float is currently under development by a team which is led by SP Gon Choudhury, Director at Development Consultants Private Limited (DCL Group) and Vice Chairman at Calcutta Institute of Technology.
In this system, solar panels are attached to a platform equipped with plastic or tin drums that enable it to float. The floating solar power plant is expected to be 100 square metres and generate 10 kW of power. That is a power-to-size ratio of 100 watts per square metre, which is equivalent to 10% efficiency, which is close to the average for solar panels.
The floating solar power plant is to be installed in Kolkata, India in a pond located at Victoria Memorial.
According to the local media, “The Hindustan Times,” Choudary stated: “Studies have also shown that if the rear surface of solar panels are kept cooler, then their ability to generate power goes up by 16%. As these solar panels would be floating on water, they are expected to stay cool and hence we can generate more power than those set up on land.”
This project is being funded by India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). One likely reason for supporting this project is that India could greatly benefit from greater energy independence — oil shortages which result in rolling blackouts in some regions of the country are a bit of a problem in the country.
“We have written to the Victoria Memorial authorities so that their ponds could be utilised for the project. Requests have also been sent to a few other state government agencies and departments so that the water bodies near Patuli and Science City off the EM Bypass could be utilised,” Choudary added.