International floating PV pioneer Ciel et Terre exhibits patented technology Hydrelio, as a part of the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA) pavilion at Intersolar North America.
Hydrelio, created in 2011, is a platform that allows standard solar PV panels to be installed on large man-made bodies of water such as industrial reservoirs, dams or irrigation ponds. This is proven to be a beneficial source for energy and water intensive industries such as water treatment plants and reclamation facilities, wineries and dairy farms.
More recently, Ciel et Terre created two pilot programs in the United States. The organization developed partnership with The University of Central Florida and installed a 5-kW floating PV system on the campus’s retention pond. The second pilot program is located in Sonoma, Calif., at the Kunde Family Winery. Ciel et Terre’s innovative floating system conserves the reservoirs’ water by reducing evaporation and limiting algae growth. The solar panels operate more efficiently and produce more energy due to the natural cooling effect emitted through the water.
This installation is the first on site study that will compare real electricity generation from traditional ground mount racking and the floating PV power plant. This will provide empirical data to show the natural cooling effect to optimize solar output in Northern Californian weather conditions.
Currently, Hydrelio is leading the industry with floating PV systems utilized by the most solar dependent countries including Japan, Korea, China, UK and Brazil. These existing systems combined have a total peak capacity of 44 MWp megawatts using approximately 170,000 floating solar panels.
Ciel et Terre is continuously making strides to position their patented technology as one of the most beneficial sources of renewable energy. The Hydrelio system manufactured in Atlanta, Georgia, can now accommodate installations up to 60 cell and 72 cell modules to better answer the U.S. market demand.