Comparison Between Floating Photovoltaic and Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic

In this article, we aim at comparing floating photovoltaic (FPV) with ground-mounted solar photovoltaic. The comparison is based on parameters such as land-use efficiency (LUE), energy yield, water evaporation, and local utilization of energy for these two types of solar installations.

Land-use Efficiency

Roughly speaking, this parameter is used to measure and compare the amount of land that is needed to construct a power plant. In this case, floating photovoltaic power plants need less land as compared to ground-mounted solar plants, which are sometimes referred to as utility-scale solar power plants. FPV plants can generate 1.6 MW of power per hectare while the ground-mounted plant generates 1.33 MW per hectare.

Energy Yield

Thanks to the water cooling effect on PV module performance and reduction in the temperature of PV module, FPV plants yield higher energy compared to ground-mounted solar plants.

Water Evaporation

FPV plants throw a shadow on the water surface and reduce water evaporation. They also have an added advantage over ground mounted plants, as there no water supply is required for cleaning PV modules

According to PV-Magazine, the owner’s primary motivation to deploy a FPV system is to avoid occupying land and to reduce water evaporation.

Local Energy Use

Due to the close proximity of FPV plants to some water-based industries, along with the added advantage of the cooling effects it offers, many new projects, based around business models such as aquaculture and agrivoltaic, have been commissioned around the world. What‘s interesting about FPV plants is that the electricity generation can be used locally for submerged data centers and can be quickly normed as a new emerging business model for giant companies in Cybernet.

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