South Korean PV module manufacturer, SolarPark Korea has supplied modules to the first floating PV power plant that also uses a tracking and rotating system.
According to SolarPark Korea, the prototype Sunflower Solar Power Plant built by the Korea Rural Community Corporation is a 465Kwp system and around 8,000 square metres in size.
Due to the South Korean governments existing REC (Renewable Energy Certificate) being 1.5 times higher for floating solar power plants than conventional land –based REC’s, interest in this area was said to be increasing.
SolarPark Korea supplied 1,550 72-cell multicrystalline modules for the test project, which the company said benefited from the cooling effect of the water that could potentially provide an additional 10% increase in energy production, compared to a ground-mounted system.
Such floating PV power plants are also said to have reduced algae growth and are said to be able to function as hatcheries for fish habiting in the area.
SolarPark Korea said that the tracking system actually rotates the PV plant so that the modules remain facing the sun throughout the day. As the facility is situated on water only a small amount of power from the plant is used for the rotation of the entire system.
Currently, the Sunflower Solar Power Plant is claimed to be the only floating PV plant equipped with a rotating and tracking system. As a result of the extended exposure to maximum sunlight, the Sunflower Solar Power Plant’s production efficiency is claimed to be 22% higher than a comparable ground-mounted PV plant.
The Korea Rural Community Corporation was said to be in process of utilizing 5% of the country’s water surface for the installation of floating solar power plants as only 5% of water resources are required for dams and public agricultural reservoirs.
Around 4GW of floating PV power plants could be built in South Korea.