Energy Planet Care

158: Global cooling using floating solar farms


Greenhouse Global warming is increasing at an exponential and alarming rate.


Scientists from Norway and Switzerland are proposing that a network of millions of floating offshore solar farms could be used to convert atmospheric carbon dioxide into renewable energy.

Their concept is clusters of marine-based floating islands, on which PV cells convert sunlight into electrical energy to produce H2 and to extract CO₂ from seawater, where it is in equilibrium with the atmosphere.

These gases are then reacted to form the energy carrier methanol, which is conveniently shipped to the end consumer. Co-author Swiss scientist Andreas Borgschulte explained the idea for the solar islands was conceived when the Norwegian researchers were assigned the task of pushing fish farms out to open sea that would require their own energy.

The researchers determined that 70 of these artificial islands could make up a single facility that covers an area of about 0.4 square mi. (10 km²). The experts identified locations across the globe where conditions are suitable to properly manage the facilities. The coasts of South America, Australia, and Southeast Asia were found to be ideal sites for the solar farms. The team is now working to build prototypes of the floating islands.

Discover Solution 159: flood barriers

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