Floating solar panels

Space saving, innovative floating solar system designed specifically for horticultural industry.

Floating solar panels on water reservoir

Rising energy costs continue to be challenging for the industry as a whole, but especially for those growing under glass. Any competitive advantage for glasshouses now lies principally in energy solutions, climate control and automation.

Dutch company, Aquasol Solar is seeing a rise in demand from growers and nurseries for their novel “Zon op Water” solar panels specifically designed for use on water reservoirs. In a country as populated as the Netherlands, space comes at a high premium and the use of water reservoirs for energy production as well as a water source, is cunning. Even more so, as according to the Aquasol Solar the return on investment is 10-15%.

The “Zon op Water” (literally translated as sun on the water) floating solar panels are modular to accommodate varying sizes and depths of reservoir. Each panel measures in at 2280 x1130 mm and float individually thanks to a High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) ProFloater device. The solar panels are safely and securely anchored in the reservoir.

Keen to heat their greenhouses sustainably, in 2023 Hoogweg Paprika Nurseries in the Netherlands fitted the floating solar panels on their water reservoir, which collects the rainwater from the glasshouses. The solar panels generate electricity to run their heatpumps, E-boilers (to heat the greenhouses), as well as to run operational processes such as the sorting lines and packaging stations.

As an added bonus, the solar panel ‘cover’ reduces water evaporation, temperature fluctuation and algae growth in the water reservoir, improving the water quality for crop irrigation.

According to Aquasol Solar they have yet to install their floating solar panels in the UK, but have had several inquiries from growers and nurseries. Watch this space.