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Title: A study of floating PV module efficiency
Authors: Muscat, Melanie (2014)
Keywords: Solar energy -- Malta
Photovoltaic power generation -- Malta
Photovoltaic power systems -- Malta
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: One of the most evident and prominent limitations of providing solutions to alternative energy in Malta is the lack of land space availability. In spite of this obstacle, the Maltese archipelago is obliged, by EU Directive 2009/28/EC, to achieve 10.2% of its final energy consumption by means of renewable resources. The Maltese areas and surroundings have a great opportunity for harnessing the solar resource where the ratio of territorial water area to land area for the Maltese islands is approximately 10:1 [1]. For this reason, the evaluation of the efficiency of a floating PV system is being analysed for the marine environment. A field search was conducted and findings obtained reveal that a novice niche market is currently set up in the field of floating solar systems where the majority of projects are constructed either on lakes, reservoirs and dams. It is also noted that to date, the effect of sea water on the efficiency of solar cells is still unknown, or at least data and studies are not yet readily available. Therefore, a number of experiments were set up to analyse if the effect of salinity would indeed affect the performance of solar cells. Thorough comparisons were conducted for two types of solar technologies subject the following configurations: 1. A floating equivalent PV platform with a water pump allowing sea water trickles down the face of the solar cell, 2. A floating equivalent PV platform subject to sea spray ultimately transformed to sea salt residue accumulation, 3. A conventional land based system platform and 4. A system submerged in sea water 1cm below the waterline The sea salt residue cell representative ranked in second. This is due to the fact that since this system was setup above a bath of water which is cooler than the atmosphere around it, it was able to maintain the cells at a cooler temperature compared to the same cells set up on land. The ground based system ranked in third. The highest temperature was also recorded at this cell, reaching above 60°C at one time compared to the WF system recorded at 39°C and the SS system at 47.8°C. Last was the submerged system. This is because the ideal solar cell tilt at solar noon for this particular day was 17° [2]. The cells for channels 1, 2 and 3 were set up at 30° for this test, which implies that none of the cells directly face the sun, however given this system was set horizontally, it generated the least yield since the water above refracts the solar rations and alternates it and thus the cell receives less energy.
Description: M.SC.SUS.ENERGY
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - InsSE - 2014

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