USA will follow in the footsteps of India and will install solar cells on the canals in order to combat the heat wave that plagues the country. As reported CBSNewsCalifornia will be the first state to adopt this measure, which not only will prevent the evaporation of water, but will generate sustainable energy. The State will install the panels along the Turlock Irrigation District (TID), an irrigation system that provides water to California’s Central Valley.
known as Project Nexus, the program is a proof of concept that will serve to study in depth the implementation and benefits offered by the use of solar cells on rivers. The state government will invest 20 million dollars to place 2.6 kilometers of panels in three sections of the TID. Those responsible for the project announced that construction will begin at the end of this year and will be completed in 2023.
In accordance with the official website, the Nexus Project aims to increase the generation of renewable energy and reduce the evaporation of water in the canals due to the heat wave. Placing canopies with solar panels will protect the water that runs through the irrigation district not only avoiding evaporation, but also improving its quality by reduce aquatic weed growth. On the other hand, the structure would serve to support the local power grid.
One of the advantages of placing the solar panels on the channels is that the water would help cool them down, making them more efficient by increasing its conversion capacity. Engineers will install the canopies in channels ranging from 6 to 30 meters wide.
Solar cells on rivers: an effective idea against the heat wave?
The Nexus Project is inspired by a similar solution that was applied to the 532 km of canals in Narmada, India. The idea of the Gujarat engineers was not only to prevent the evaporation of water due to the heat wave, but also take advantage of the space to avoid the construction of solar farms. The pilot project was inaugurated 10 years ago with the aim of generate up to 1 MW of clean energy and prevent the evaporation of 9 million liters of water.
In the case of the United States, a study by the University of California found that placing the panels along all the channels of the Turlock Irrigation District would save about 240 billion liters of water each year. The pilot program, which will start in 2023, will serve to obtain a real figure of the saving of the vital liquid, as well as the effects in reducing greenhouse gases.
The North American country has chosen the irrigation channels because the heat wave evaporates the water that reaches the agricultural areas. In addition to that, the remaining liquid arrives contaminated due to the growth of algae in the channels. The Nexus Project may inspire other countries to take similar steps to reduce the impact of global warming.