Picture for representation
Picture for representation Reuters

Singapore launched the world's largest floating solar photovoltaic cell test-bed which measures one hectare and contains 10 different solar photovoltaic systems.

The $11 million test-bed, which is the size of about 100 five-room Housing Board flats, located at Tengeh Reservoir in Tuas will be used to study the performance and cost effectiveness of various system for the next six months, Environment and Water Resources minister Masagos Zulkifli .said.

The environment minister, while speaking at the Asia Clean Energy Summit held at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, said that sustainability should not be considered an alternate way or trade off to development, according to Straits Times. Rather it should be "the pursuit of clean and renewable energy development is a venture into greater opportunities and growth, and also a necessary step into the green era," he said.

100 sensors will be used to study each solar photovoltaic system. During the study, it was also reported that the floating system will also be compared with a 20 kilowatt peak roof-top system located in the vicinity of Tengeh Reservoir. The two best-performing floating solar photovoltaic systems will be chosen after the results are evaluated and will be placed on a larger trial of 2 megawatt peak capacity.

While the project has been initiated by the Economic Development Board (EDB) and national water agency PUB, the scientific evaluation of the photovoltaic systems will be conducted by the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (Seris), reported the news agency.

Moreover, the environmental impact on the reservoir will be studied by PUB which will include the study of the impact of the photovoltaic installations on water quality and biodiversity of the reservoir.

Recently, floating solar photovoltaic cells have become an increasingly attractive way to harness sunlight for Singapore which otherwise lacks roof space. Moreover, these cells have been proved to be more effective in temperate countries.

"As a highly dense city-state with limited space for solar deployment, Singapore is placing emphasis on building up urban solar capabilities which include floating solar as a key focus area. Singapore is also positioned as a living lab for companies to test and commercialise innovative urban solutions," said Goh Chee Kiong, executive director for cleantech at EDB, according to Straits Times.

"We are confident that the floating photovoltaictest-bed will serve as an important reference for local and international companies to scale up their solar technologies for global markets," he added.