Swiss energy company Viteos has announced that it is to build three floating solar arrays on Lake Neuchâtel. Viteos will work with tech company and “energy enabler” Nolaris to build the 25-m (82-ft) diameter islands, each with 100 photovoltaic panels.
Viteos stresses that the islands are for research and development purposes rather than a practical and cost-effective means of generating energy. In a press release, Viteos Technical Director Philippe Burri explained that the islands would allow the company to observe the corrosive effects of water, wind and waves on the installation.
The islands will supposedly rotate through 220° in order to track the sun to maximize generation. They will be made from a compartmentalized inflatable ring in order to reduce cost, ease installation and dismantling. The islands will be installed on a part of the lake closed to boats.
Viteos says will be kept at Neuchâtel port between May and August before being towed and installed at their final location by early 2014. There they are expected to be tested for 25 years.