Concentrated solar power (CSP) will power three floating laboratories in lake Neuchâtel, Switzerland, currently under construction by Swiss energy company Viteos SA and project developer Nolaris.
The labs are located close to a water purification plant, 150 metres from the shore, connected to the grid and will act as research facilities to demonstrate the effectiveness of CSP on water and whether this could be adapted to other solar technologies like PV.
Each floating laboratory is 25 metres in diameter and will carry 100 PV panels. Each panel will be back-to-back on a 45° incline. The islands can rotate 220° in the direction of the sun tracking it throughout the day. Their location on the water lowers its resistance, therefore increasing its effectiveness.
The islands are anchored by concrete blocks at the bottom of the lake by cables. They will also be connected to the shore by cables and connected to the electricity grid by Viteos inverters.
The islands can be sustained for 25 years and all the parts recycled after decommissioning.
Viteos intends to invest more than CHF 100 million (US$108 million) and increase its own output to more than 80 million kilowatt hours within 10 years, as part of its renewable energy development plans.
The PV systems are scheduled to be completed by August 2013