Solaris Energy- a technology for synergizing water and sun

By:
Yossi Fisher
Solaris Synergy CEO

With an acute shortage of water, Israel has always been a fertile source of innovative water technologies. To support this innovation and refine its own technological edge, Mekorot formed the WaTech® Entrepreneurship & Partnership Center. WaTech® extends assistance to technology start-ups in a number of ways, supporting them through to complete product development and market launch.

One of these companies is Solaris Synergy, a Jerusalem-based start-up, which has developed a technology for synergizing water and sun, addressing one of today’s most pressing problems…. energy.

Solar energy has already proven itself to be one of the most effective methods of satisfying the growing worldwide demand for electricity. Generating electricity using photo voltaic cells (PV) is gaining widespread acceptance and PV panels are being installed in fast growing numbers.

פרסום

However, one of the key challenges facing PV implementation is the lack of suitable land surfaces for the installation of the plants. In many parts of the world all available land in proximity to population centers is earmarked for housing, or for agriculture that will produce food for the rapidly growing population. One of the solutions to this problem is to utilize available industrial-use water bodies. Examples of these would be irrigation water reservoirs that are common in agricultural areas, reservoirs and lakes associated with hydroelectric plants, artificial ponds used for fish farming, water conduits, etc.

The fly in the ointment is the technical challenge of installing solar PV panels on water surfaces. Up until now this has been a complicated and very costly process.
Despite these drawbacks, a small number of companies has entered to the market and completed a limited number of installations; however, cost remains a major roadblock to widespread implementation.

Solaris Synergy, an Israeli technology company, is now offering a sustainable solution to this challenge. “Solaris Synergy FPV (Floating Photo-Voltaic)”, new solar-on-water technology has broken the paradigm by generating solar electricity on water surfaces at grid-parity cost and at a competitive cost compared to ordinary land-based systems! Leveraging water surfaces to implement simple and low-cost construction,

Solaris Synergy has developed a novel solar power system to generate electricity that allows owners of water bodies to put their reservoirs, hydroelectric dams, lakes and ponds to work, providing clean and efficient electrical energy. Approaching the problem from a new angle, Solaris Synergy resolved the major issues driving up the costs of competitive systems by eliminating the need for a floating platform for the PV panels. Instead of mounting PV panels on a floating “raft”, the system uses a unique, patented grid design for floating the PV panels individually and independently of each other. The geometric integrity of the grid is secured by a patented cable-based lattice suspended from a floating lightweight and flexible ring superstructure which can adjust itself to undulating wave motion and is designed to withstand significant wind forces.

The unique PV panel floatation mechanism is designed to automatically adjust the PV panel angle to the incident wind, thus reducing forces on individual PV panels and thereby on the entire system. The system is designed to utilise almost any standard PV panel on the market, with easy and rapid cleaning and efficient maintenance.

פרסום

Solaris Synergy has been supported from an early stage by WaTech®. The first floating PV technology pilot was installed on the MekorotsTekuma reservoir designated by WaTech® as a working test site. This has provided Solaris with a unique testing ground to run a proof of concept of the technology. Tapping Mekorot resources, WaTech® was able to provide operational and technical assistance that accelerated development of the system and helped it advance to a marketable risk-free product.

WaTech® continued to support Solaris Synergy and when the technology was ready for its first fully operational installation, Mekorot was there once again providing an ideal testing ground – at the Eshkol Reservoir complex in Northern Israel.

Solaris Synergy is delighted to announce the successful completion of its first fully operational 50kWp floating system, installed on the Mekorot Eshkol water reservoir. The first full scale installation of this new technology has now been completed and is generating electricity according to plan. The project’s success is due to Solaris Synergy engineers who had the cooperation and assistance of the Mekorots National carrier district and WaTech® division, and the financial support of KKL- JNF.

The completion of Solaris Synergy’s first installation comes at a time when the trend of moving solar fields onto the surfaces of water bodies is gaining momentum. At this time the Solaris Synergy solution has already attracted the attention of a significant number of potential customers around the world who are in various satges of discussions with Solaris regarding potential Solar on Water installations.

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