Ocean solar rigs and conversion of sea water to hydrogen fuel

There are some truly extraordinary projects in the worlds across the world.

Last year in China, the world’s largest floating solar farm went into operation. The size of about 160 American football fields, it is a 40MW facility which can provide power for approximately 15,000 homes.

A team from Columbia University has developed a device called a “floating photovoltaic electrolyzer” which stands to make floating solar farms more productive. The farm in China is in an old coal mine – the Columbia technology is designed for salt water at sea.

The team has managed to find a way to avoid the use of membranes, which are expensive, which are used in most electrolysing processes. They have also managed to take advantage of buoyancy as a substitute for the pumps used in some systems to move liquids around and move hydrogen bubbles to storage chambers.

At present the technology is working as a laboratory prototype. The path to industrial use may take a while.