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Solar Farm Moves Like a Sun Flower

A new solar power farm floating on the waters of a large lake in the Netherlands is stalking the sun’s movements to make the most out of its energy capabilities - and radically improving conversion efficiency.

A company called SolarisFloat‘s artificial island - dubbed Proteus after the Greek sea god - is a 38m wide circular system comprised of 180 interconnected modular panels that makes the most of its position by slowly following the sun’s trajectory as it arcs across the sky.

Array of solar panels capable of following the sun
Credit: SolarisFloat

Much like flowers shifting position as the day progresses, Proteus’ onboard technology allows its double-sided panels to follow with the sun’s movement in order to consistently generate as much solar power as possible. Thanks to this tracking system, SolarisFloat estimates Proteus can generate as much as 40 percent more energy than non-moving arrays on land.

But that's not the system's only benefit. As it floats on water, it has the ability to maintain lower temperatures than land-based counterparts thanks to the water-cooled air underneath it. Furthermore, by placing the panels on water, land that may be needed for farming or forests, is not impacted. So, it's a win-win from all regards.

Situating solar farms atop otherwise unused bodies of water could be a relatively simple, effective way to allow space for all of the required projects needed to stave off the worst effects of climate change.



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