Why Solar Power Companies Should Consider BioHaven Floating Photovoltaics
Alternative energy companies have recently turned to waterbodies as a place to deploy their collection panels. Floating solar is growing three times faster than other solar installations, particularly in areas where land is at a premium. But, as with any fledgling industry there are challenges as well as opportunities.
While anchoring may be new to providers of solar pontoons, BioHaven anchoring solutions have been developed over 12 years. High-profile floating solar parks have suffered damage from high wind and wave action. The stability of BioHaven matrix and our anchoring expertise enables us to successfully secure large islands against tidal influences, hurricane-force winds, typhoons and snow storms.
Major Opportunity for Water Quality improvement.
The waterbodies utilized for floating solar are typically man-made ponds and lakes, which are chosen deliberately to prevent any unwanted impacts that may negatively affect the water. This approach misses a huge opportunity to impact the environment positively. Floating solar companies certainly need to "do no harm" to the water resource they rely on. With a BioHaven platform, they can actually "transition" impaired water back to health.
The opportunity is enormous. Many of our natural water resources are suffering from Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs). Floating solar has the opportunity and the means to help fix the most pressing and expensive water problems faced by the planet while creating revenue from clean power generation.
The platforms currently in use today do little more than provide buoyancy, but they are rigid and susceptible to damage. They tend to foster anaerobic conditions which can lead to excess amounts of greenhouse gases being released from water and create the conditions for HABs to prosper.
The BioHaven FPV platform answers these needs. It provides a resilient, durable and stable support that holds the panels low to water. Its flexible, permeable materials dissipate wave energy and support the biology that eradicates HABs while the solar panels generate clean energy above. And BioHaven FPV cools the water and prevents evaporative loss.
BioHaven Floating Islands have 12 years of independent research attesting to their performance in municipal and private water treatment.
Although the FPV industry is young, it is adopting quickly and already looking into collaboration with other fields to enhance its benefits. Some companies have teamed up with hydro-dams to provide more consistent power from hydro-electric plants and avoid re-building electrical facilities. Other potential valuable hybrid relationships are with aquaculture, agrivoltaics and Green tourism industries.
BioHavens can provide the critical link between FPV and these industries.
Either as the platform itself, or as a protective barrier around an existing floating solar asset, BioHavens are the ideal option for floating solar.
BioHaven Solar Platforms are Stable and Resilient
The resilient BioHaven FPV platform provides stable support for the generation of clean, reliable energy:
Other Reasons to Choose BioHaven Solar Platforms
They make use of available water space and clean the water at the same time. The solar array can be sized to generate power for an entire community, to use or sell back to the grid.
Large BioHavens fix large lakes.
Nutrient removal is essential for preventing harmful blooms of algae and Golden Algae. BioHaven matrix supports the growth of biofilm that is the optimum pathway for biological removal of excess nutrients in water, even without plants. With the addition of plants, the efficacy is multiplied. Low-growing hyper-accumulator plants accelerate the water quality improvement even further.
A BioHaven solar platform is stable.
Alternative energy companies have recently turned to waterways as a place to deploy their collection panels. But a weak spot in floating solar platforms is the flotation itself. A manufactured platform is supported by pontoons. Pontoons are buoyant, but also exceptionally light and unstable, tossed about easily by forces of nature — wind and waves — a roughing-up that is not good for the delicate photovoltaic technologies that reside on the islands.
A BioHaven solar platform can be used to cut operating costs.
Customizable solar arrays can be mounted on large platforms to deliver power for other uses. For example, wastewater lagoons can derive enough power from solar on their islands to run their aerators, usually the most costly of their operating expenses.
The BioHaven Matrix Advantage
Early in Floating Island International's (FII) history, a commercialization grant was awarded by the Montana Department of Commerce to study the impact of BioHaven matrix on nutrient removal. The results were astounding. They convinced us that even without plants, the matrix provides enough surface area to make a significant reduction in phosphorus, nitrogen and ammonia, all of which contribute to Harmful Algae Blooms. The literature supporting biofilm as a primary nutrient-removal pathway is extensive.
The BioHaven matrix has been upgraded many times since that study was published to make it more robust and resilient to climate and weather impacts, while maintaining its performance capacity. Most significant have been the improvements in UV-resistance, tensile strength and armoring. We project a 60-year design life for today's BioHavens (2020).
Today we have single-module, seamless, floating islands of about 95 square feet that can support 2,500 pounds of negative buoyancy. These can be attached together to form custom-size platforms.
A saturated BioHaven will weigh twenty times as much as a similar footprint of pontoon and will accumulate mass as it ages. This allows a well-anchored BioHaven platform to maintain a stationary position in the face of hurricane-force winds. Massive waves hit them, and their energy is sparged and dispersed within the water-damping matrix. Wind chop is attenuated.
60+ years. Advances in construction methods include a tough coating of “armor” that protects the outer surfaces from UV and environmental damage. This is the same material that protects the insides of municipal water inventory tanks.
These islands, framed together as massive archipelagos, can support seven or eight times their square footage of solar panels. The largest existing BioHaven in North America is a 40,000 square foot island that supports 900 tons of gravel.
BioHaven Floating Islands have withstood hurricane-force winds in the Gulf of Mexico, 48-inch snow dumps in the ocean off the coast of Alaska, a tornado in Montana, a typhoon in Singapore, and a two-day windstorm in Oregon.
For each square foot of BioHaven Floating Island, about 12 recycled PET bottles have been transformed into the matrix. The internal viscosity (IV) is extremely high and superior to most virgin PET.
If BioHaven Floating Islands provided no additional benefits, they would still be far superior to pontoons. But they do. The BioHaven matrix performs like a wetland, its intricate surface area supporting biofilm growth that filters water and removes contaminants. It is also an excellent growing medium for deep-rooted plants that accelerate remediation.
Governmental Incentive Programs May be Available
You may be able to fund the purchase and installation of BioHaven Floating Solar through Government Incentive Programs. These are some of the programs we are aware of in mid-2020:
For HAB management:
Earn nutrient credits:
To find out if your state has an incentive program, use the ready-reference tool here.
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