Japan tests floating platforms that generate solar photovoltaic (PV) energy in the sea

With little land available for renewable energy production, Japan begins installing floating solar panels in the sea in an experimental project
In Japan, a pilot project to obtain marine solar energy begins to operate from floating platforms with photovoltaic (PV) panels in Tokyo Bay. In a country known for its scarcity of land, thinking about solar energy farms floating in the sea seems like a good option for obtaining renewable energy. However, it is still necessary to know whether the plan will work in practice.

The floating platforms were developed and installed by the company Sumitomo Mitsui Construction (SMC). Although this is the first solar energy project installed at sea, the Japanese company already operates six commercially viable floating installations in reservoirs and other bodies of water.
Regardless of the Japanese test, scientists at the Australian National University have already pointed out the energy potential of these platforms at sea. In theory, the facilities could produce an almost unlimited amount of energy if they were located near the equator due to the high incidence of sunlight.
Installation of the platform for solar energy production in the Sea of ??Japan was completed in April and the solar plant is now connected by submarine cables to supply power on land; However, production is still very low.

To understand the project, the platform developed by SMC is divided into four parts of equal size, each of which houses a series of 50 kilowatt panels oriented in different directions of the globe, maximizing the capture of solar rays.

In addition, the platform was fixed to the seabed with cables, which prevents it from becoming loose and causing accidents on whitewater days or even typhoons. The risk of high waves at the installation site is low.

Can salt corrode solar panels?

In addition to waves and tides, another potential risk to the solar energy production platform is high water salinity, which can corrode equipment and prevent the production of renewable energy. This does not happen on farms located in places with fresh water.
To minimize this problem, the panels were covered with glass both in front and behind, the idea being that this would make them more resistant, extending their useful life. Ultimately, this protection system will still need to be strengthened, based on the results of this test in Tokyo Bay.

For now, the platform produces only 1 megawatt, making it commercially unviable. However, this should change, if it depends on the Japanese company.

By 2030, the expectation is to increase energy production capacity to 150 MW. That’s the equivalent of about 30,000 home solar panels. It will definitely increase economic interest in the operation.