Project

Reducing evaporation at California aqueduct by using floating photovoltaic system

We collect enormous amount of water in our dams, but still struggle with scarce fresh water. This issue not only affects the state economy, by increasing the water rates and limiting the water usage, but also leaves some places without drinking water. Some cities in California, such as Hanford and Tulare County, faced a very hard time in 2015 , because of lack of fresh water. An enormous amount of fresh water is lost from water reservoirs, channels and rivers through evaporation every year. This project shows how would fresh water could be saved by preventing evaporation using a multi-beneficial project - a Floating Photovoltaic System (FPVS), with the main purposes being preventing evaporation, producing electricity and bringing profit to the owner. The meteorological data for the project was collected from ameriflux.lbl.gov (gauge station US-Dia), and from California Data Exchange Center (CDEC) (gauge station DMC HEADWORKS). The time period chosen for evaluating the evaporation is all of 2012. The project not only saves water (6,395 ac-ft per year) by reducing evaporation from the aqueduct, but also produces energy for the State Water Project (960.6 million kWh per year) and makes a profit ($140.8 million) given a lifetime for the solar panels of 25 years.

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