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Type Paper
Cite as Citation reference for the source document. Adam M. Pringle, R.M. Handler, J.M. Pearce. Aquavoltaics: Synergies for dual use of water area for solar photovoltaic electricity generation and aquaculture. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 80, (2017), pp. 572–584. open access

Bodies of water provide essentials for both human society as well as natural ecosystems. To expand the services this water provides, hybrid food-energy-water systems can be designed. This paper reviews the fields of floatovoltaic (FV) technology (water deployed solar photovoltaic systems) and aquaculture (farming of aquatic organisms) to investigate the potential of hybrid floatovoltaic-aquaculture synergistic applications for improving food-energy-water nexus sustainability. The primary motivation for combining electrical energy generation with aquaculture is to promote the dual use of water, which has historically high unused potential. Recent advances in FV technology using both pontoon and thin film structures provides significant flexibility in deployment in a range of water systems. Solar generated electricity provides off-grid aquaculture potential. In addition, several other symbiotic relationships are considered including an increase in power conversion efficiency due to the cooling and cleaning of module surfaces, a reduction in water surface evaporation rates, ecosystem redevelopment, and improved fish growth rates through integrated designs using FV-powered pumps to control oxygenation levels as well as LED lighting. The potential for a solar photovoltaic-aquaculture or aquavoltaic ecology was found to be promising. If a U.S. national average value of solar flux is used then current aquaculture surface areas in use, if incorporated with appropriate solar technology could account for 10.3% of total U.S. energy consumption as of 2016.

See also[edit | edit source]

Services provided by agrivoltaics are: renewable electricity generation, decreased green-house gas emissions, reduced climate change, increased crop yield, plant protection from excess solar energy, plant protection from inclement weather such as hail, water conservation, agricultural employment, local food, improved health from pollution reduction increased revenue for farmers, a hedge against inflation, the potential to produce nitrogen fertilizer on farm, on farm production of renewable fuels such as anhydrous ammonia or hydrogen, and electricity for EV charging for on- or off-farm use.

In the News[edit source]

  • An open source simulation of photovoltaic yield with r.sun over large regions
  • Effects of floating photovoltaic systems on water quality of aquaculture ponds - "This study investigated the water quality of aquaculture ponds with and without simulated FPV systems (40% surface area shading) at three sites: Chupei, Lukang and Cigu. Results indicated the FPV-covered ponds exhibited lower mean values in biochemical oxygen demand and plankton biomass but higher oxidation–reduction potential relative to the control ponds. The FPV-covered ponds exhibited lower pH, water temperature and level of dissolved oxygen relative to the control ponds in Chupei and Lukang. The results suggested that the FPV shading effect potentially reduced phytoplankton growth. All FPV-covered ponds exhibited 1.1, 1.2 and 1.4 times greater yields in giant freshwater prawn, tilapia and milkfish without any effect on the growth of cultured species.

In the News[edit | edit source]

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