Challenges of Floating PV Power Station

Challenges of Floating PV Power Station

At present, the biggest challenge of water surface floating photovoltaic technology is the cost of floating pv system and soft cost.

Photovoltaic modules and inverters belong to mature technologies. But the cost of floating systems is often more expensive than that of ground-based ones. The floating system includes floating components, mooring and anchoring systems. In terms of floating components alone, the solution may vary from vendor to vendor. In addition, the unique mooring and anchoring solution must be designed for each location based on changes in water levels, extreme weather and other factors. In China, for a 5-10MW floating photovoltaic power station, the system cost of floating components accounts for about a third, while the cost of installation structure in the ground power station accounts for 8%.

Soft cost includes labor, design and engineering, supply chain and logistics costs and so on, which is also higher than that of ground power plants. After all, construction on the surface of the water and construction on the ground need a lot of facilities and difficulties. Each surface condition is different, and the requirement of design is higher. These costs may vary largely from project to project. Developers and investors will also be deterred by the ambiguity of operating and maintenance costs and post-installation costs. 

Despite of these cost challenges, the unique power generation and resource utilization advantages of surface photovoltaic cannot be achieved by ground-based power stations. As the cost of the system falls, floating photovoltaic power stations will be considered in many countries.

Moreover, with more and more putting into operation, more experience in design, construction, operation and management will be accumulated. The evaluation of system performance will become easier and the cost in this aspect will be further reduced.