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Efficiency boost with new solar panel on water basins

Growers could get even more out of solar panels if these featured some special characteristics. Through a new partnership sealed at HortiContact, special solar panel supplier Aiko has joined forces with Zon op Waterbassin to support growers further in their sustainability efforts.

Originally, Chinese manufacturer Aiko produced solar cells, until it also started to make solar panels too. Last year, the company entered the European market, establishing offices in Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, and a large warehouse in Maasvlakte, Rotterdam.

In January, Willem Verwoerd represented Zon op Waterbassin on a tour in China, searching for improvements to the floating solar panel system. "There, I visited many factories and sought the best panel for our system." And that was a panel from Aiko.

Chretien Hendriks (Genap), Willem Verwoerd and Hans van Luijk (Aquasol Solar/Zon op Waterbassin) and Jos Schangen (Aiko)

Less loss due to dirt
But what makes this panel so special? Jos Schlangen, Senior Business Development Manager at Aiko: "For one, the panel's electricity output has been moved to the back, which means, compared to regular panels, you don't see the 'wires' on the surface. "This results in more light intake, similar to how in greenhouses you also try to minimize blocking the light."

Additionally, the panel is equipped with anti-shading technology, which means that in case of contamination by, for example, bird droppings, protection measures would only shut down one cell rather than the entire panel.

Hans, Willem, Ada Sun (Aiko), and Jos at the signing of the partnership

Higher yield
The special panel can be closely examined at the ZonopWaterbassin booth, along with the anchor system introduced at last year's fair. The panel's size is significant, especially compared to regular panels: about 10 centimeters longer. "Moreover, it's important that the panel is PFAS-free," says Jos. "That's going to become a requirement. As a grower, you want your irrigation water to be clean."

The larger size of the panel, along with the special specifications mentioned above, results in an even higher yield, according to the company. A standard panel has a capacity of 570-585 watts, Willem calculates that this panel reaches 620-640 watts. That means 240 watts per square meter, adds Chretien Hendriks from Genap. "That results in a yield increase of 24%."

Battery system
ZonopWaterbassin expects to install the first systems with these latest panels on basins at growers' sites after the summer vacation. This can also include a battery system for energy storage, Willem brings up another current development. "We expect to deliver the first projects with such a battery system this year. We are currently exploring the optimal combination."

The trade fair video of ZonopWaterbassin, including footage from Hoogweg Paprikakwekerijen, a member of Oxin Growers. Willem: "This winter, they saw with their own eyes that the system is well resistant to storms."

For more information:
Willem Verwoerd
Zon op Waterbassin
Honderdland 226
2676 LV, Maasdijk
Tel.: +31 (0)6 415 14 033

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