Solar BioHaven for Power Generation & Clean Water
Alternative energy companies have turned to large waterways—which are often plagued by huge unrelated water-health problems, most notably Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs)—as a place to deploy their collection panels.
Solar BioHaven introduces platforms that support massive arrays of solar panels to generate power that provide clean, renewable, alternative energy to electrical grids, and also mitigates HABs in the waterway.
Floating Photovoltaics (PV) are the future
Solar photovoltaics is one of the strategic renewable technologies needed to reach Paris climate goals. The technology is available now however there are obstacles to its large scale development. One of these obstacles is geographical. There is not enough space!
Consider the parallel challenges towards reaching climate goals: greenhouse gas emissions and algae-plagued waterways.
Mitigating the barriers to floating photovoltaics is vital to boost deployment and bring socio-economic benefits as well as regional benefits.
It’s time to accelerate solar pv deployment on waterways
Our platform is engineered for resilience and longevity. Unlike typical pontoon floats, a solar platform of BioHaven Floating Islands works to eradicate HABs, while the mounted solar provides power and income generation.
The BioHaven Solar Platform is a Double-Duty Platform.
The PV (photovoltaic) panels and the floating island can be sized appropriately to generate solar power for an entire community, to use or sell back to the grid. BioHaven Floating Islands also provide real estate for the microscopic life forms that clean up water and resurrect the food web. As soon as an island is placed in a water body, biofilm starts to grow around and through it, reaching every fiber and crevice within the island, turning into a natural cleaning system. Water clarity improves. They make use of available water space and clean the water at the same time.
BioHaven Solar Platforms are Stable and Resilient
Resilient floating solar platform provides stable support for the generation of clean, reliable energy for communities.
Buoyancy is adjustable to 60lbs per square foot to support the heaviest loads
Optional addition of hyper-accumulator plants accelerate the water quality improvements without occluding the solar panels
BioHaven Floating Islands have withstood hurricane-force winds in the Gulf of Mexico, 48-inch snow dumps in the ocean off the coast of Alaska, a tornado in Montana, a typhoon in Singapore, and a two-day windstorm in Oregon.
Recycled Non-BPA, PET matrix, heavily “armored,” provides resistance to waterfowl, promotes growth of beneficial biology that cleans water naturally, does not leach or lose plastic in the water, and may even uptake toxic microplastics from the water.
Other Reasons to Choose BioHaven Solar Platforms
Early in Floating Island International’s (FII) history, a commercialization grant was awarded by the Montana Department of Commerce to study the impact of BioHaven matrix on nutrient removal. The results were astounding. They convinced us that even without plants, the matrix provides enough surface area to make a significant reduction in phosphorus, nitrogen and ammonia, all of which contribute to Harmful Algae Blooms. The literature supporting biofilm as a primary nutrient-removal pathway is extensive.
The BioHaven matrix has been upgraded many times since that study was published to make it more robust and resilient to climate and weather impacts, while maintaining its performance capacity. Most significant have been the improvements in UV-resistance, tensile strength and armoring. We project a 60-year design life for today’s BioHavens (2020).
Today we have single-module, seamless, floating islands of about 95 square feet that can support 2,500 pounds of negative buoyancy. These can be attached together to form custom-size platforms.
A saturated BioHaven will weigh twenty times as much as a similar footprint of pontoon and will accumulate mass as it ages. This allows a well-anchored BioHaven platform to maintain a stationary position in the face of hurricane-force winds. Massive waves hit them, and their energy is sparged and dispersed within the water-damping matrix. Wind chop is attenuated.
60+ years. Advances in construction methods include a tough coating of “armor” that protects the outer surfaces from UV and environmental damage. This is the same material that protects the insides of municipal water inventory tanks.
These islands, framed together as massive archipelagos, can support seven or eight times their square footage of solar panels. The largest existing BioHaven in North America is a 40,000 square foot island that supports 900 tons of gravel.
For each square foot of BioHaven® floating island, about 12 recycled PET bottles have been transformed into the matrix. The internal viscosity (IV) is extremely high and superior to most virgin PET.
If BioHaven Floating Islands provided no additional benefits, they would still be far superior to pontoons. But they do. The BioHaven matrix performs like a wetland, its intricate surface area supporting biofilm growth that filters water and removes contaminants. It is also an excellent growing medium for deep-rooted plants that accelerate remediation.
Large BioHavens fix large lakes
Nutrient removal is essential for preventing harmful blooms of algae and Golden Algae. BioHaven matrix supports the growth of biofilm that is the optimum pathway for biological removal of excess nutrients in water, even without plants. With the addition of plants, the efficacy is multiplied. Low-growing hyperaccumulator plants accelerate the water quality improvement even further.
A lot of BioHaven surface area is required to fix a very large lake, and installing this could be cost-prohibitive. But installing a BioHaven solar platform that happens to fix a large lake is affordable.
Alternative energy companies have recently turned to waterways as a place to deploy their collection panels. But a weak spot in floating solar platforms is the flotation itself. A manufactured platform is supported by pontoons. Pontoons are buoyant, but also exceptionally light and unstable, tossed about easily by forces of nature — wind and waves — a roughing-up that is not good for the delicate photovoltaic technologies that reside on the islands.
A BioHaven solar platform can be used to cut operating costs.
Customizable solar arrays can be mounted on large platforms to deliver power for other uses. For example, wastewater lagoons can derive enough power from solar on their islands to run their aerators, usually the most costly of their operating expenses.
Governmental Incentive Programs May be Available.
You may be able to fund the purchase and installation of BioHaven Floating Solar through Government Incentive Programs. These are some of the programs we are aware of in mid-2020:
- Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency
- Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Program
- Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program
- For HAB management:
- Federal Clean Water Act Section 319(h) Grants
- National Water Quality Initiative
- Clean Water State Revolving Fund
- Urban Waters Small Grants
You may be able to earn nutrient credits:
- State Trading Programs
EPA – Water Quality Trading
Although funding to fix water quality is inconsistent, many states offer powerful incentives to produce solar energy. Many of the states with the best incentive programs also have the biggest issues with HABs. Nutrient credits may also be available to you as your water quality improves after installation.
Solar BioHaven for Power Generation & Clean Water
- alternative energy generated close to delivery areas = safer (no above-ground wires) and less expensive
Solar BioHaven for Clean Water Powered by Alternative Energy
- alternative energy generated by solar on the floating island power nano-bubblers and eliminate blue-green and other toxic algae fast
- power up nature’s own re-generation cycles with nature’s own energy source