Glint Solar’s analysis tools use satellite technology and machine learning to provide quick, comprehensive analyses of prospective floating solar sites.
Solar is an efficient and abundant source of clean energy. Although solar is becoming more affordable, land is scarce – especially in populated areas with high energy needs. Moreover, costly long-distance power transmission may be needed to meet local demand.
In populated regions, floating solar plants on reservoirs or along the coastline provide a solution to these problems. The challenge of floating solar is to determine the best site and how the installation should be constructed, moored and anchored based on sufficient site-specific data.
Glint Solar provides floating solar developers with pre-feasibility analyses to optimise planning and installation.
The company has two main tools. The Site Evaluator Engine (SEE) evaluates the suitability of floating solar on a specific body of water. Using up to 40 years of historical satellite information, SEE gathers and analyses data layers such as solar irradiation, wind, waves, water presence, air quality, temperature and shading. Further data layers are added for grid connection distance, logistics, transportation accessibility, deployment points and nearby nature reserves.
The Site Evaluator Engine Region (SEE Region) identifies and evaluates potential locations for floating solar arrays. Aggregating the same data layers as the SEE tool, SEE Region can be used to scan large inland regions to identify the most suitable lakes or reservoirs, or coastlines to find the most ideal near-shore sites. The SEE tools match the site-specific data with a database of floating photovoltaic solution providers and generate a comprehensive report. The report includes a ranking of optimal installations, estimated levelised cost of energy (LCOE), capital needs and payback period.
Floating solar arrays do not require costly land, which can be freed up for agriculture or other productive activities. In addition, floating panels inhibit algae growth, decrease evaporation and reduce wave action, limiting coastal erosion.
The panels are also less prone to gather dust. The water provides cooling which can increase yield by up to 18 per cent under certain conditions, compared with ground-mounted solar.
Glint Solar’s analysis tools offer decision support to developers, stakeholders and engineers, reducing risk and maximising return on investment for floating solar installations.
According to IHS Markit, the floating solar market will grow by 143 per cent in 2020.
Thus far, growth has been strongest in Asia-Pacific, but there is rapid growth in other regions as well. In Europe, the Netherlands and Ukraine are expected to have well over 100 MW of installed capacity in a few years’ time.
Glint Solar’s analysis tools can be used anywhere in the world.