Project: Solar Water Float

Solar floating on water keep the solar cool with the help of water underneath help spreading the heat throughout the water.

Singapore is a rapid growing country with very little land to spare. Nevertheless, it is due to the short of space that prompted the Singaporean to venture into renewable energy sources. In this instance, the Singaporean government has decided to look into the possibility of a building a floating solar farm on its inland water reservoirs to provide the electricity that its people need instead of having the solar panels installed on rooftops (which are also scarce).

The Public Utilities Board of Singapore (‘PUB’) has announced that it is planning to implement the building of a floating solar farm as a pilot project. PUB claimed that the floating solar farm should be capable of generating enough energy for the consumption of around 1,000 Housing and Development Board households.

Why a floating solar farm?

The most obvious advantage of having a floating solar farm for Singapore is that it will not eat into its precious and limited land. Besides this, the logic that underlies this pilot project is not difficult to understand. The benefits of employing a renewable energy such as solar are multifolds and they have most certainly contributed to the Singaporean’s endeavour of building the floating solar farm. However, the PUB saw even more benefits beyond the obvious ones that would possibly come out from this project.

The water reservoirs are responsible for a vast amount of water and energy supply so it is always better when there are more water that are being reserved. By installing solar panels over the water, the evaporation will be limited and water loss will be reduced. PUB considers this as a rather major benefit as energy efficiency will be improved by this floating solar farm. In addition, the water might help to cool the panels to make them running more efficiently. (It should be noted that the latter is merely a theory).

On average, Singapore gets about 12 hours of daylight in a day. Aside from the occasional rainfall, Singapore is a rather sunny country given that it is very close to the equator (roughly 137 km north of the equator). It will be interesting and educating to observe this particular effort by the Singaporean. Malaysia, as its neighbouring country, will certainly benefit from learning the methods that Singapore is employing to utilise renewable energy sources.