John Downey for Charlotte Business Journal: A Charlotte energy executive surveying the scene at the third day of the Energy Storage Association’s Annual Conference and Expo expressed satisfaction and a little surprise at the bustle and buzz the event produced.
On a large scale, the conference put top storage developers and vendors together with power producers and systems operators looking for sparks. But there were interesting stories on a smaller scale as well. Here are a few of those quick shots:
David Szondy for GizMag: Sea-based wind farms are becoming a common sight in many parts of the world, but why not floating solar power stations? Engineers at the Vienna University of Technology foresee a future where platforms 100 m (330 ft) long and covered with solar panels float on even heavy seas thanks to a new floatation system called Heliofloat. Still under development, Heliofloat uses flexible, open-bottom floats that are capable of standing up to rough seas that would destroy such a platform sitting on conventional tanks.
Solar energy has a great potential for helping solve the world's energy problems, but among the factors hindering its general application is that suitable land is not always available. Relocating panels offshore could make for installations of incredible size and generating potential, but the seas isn't always a placid place. Even relatively calm areas can suddenly become tempests with waves that can pound a floating platform to kindling in a matter of minutes. Cont'd...
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