Solar energy has become an increasingly important part of the global energy mix. In Italy, the photovoltaic power installed has grown by 40% since 2015, which raises the issue of land use and occupation. A viable alternative, already experienced in India, is placing solar panels on the top of water canals (Canal-Top—in Italian, “Canalvoltaico”). It is a relatively new and innovative approach to solar energy installation that offers several advantages including the potential to generate renewable energy without occupying additional land, reduce water evaporation from canals, and improve water quality by reducing algae growth. The article explores various Canal-Top solar projects over the world; then, a feasible application in the Italian region “Emilia-Romagna” is discussed, evaluating two potential construction designs. The primary aim is to establish a capital expenditure cost framework, offering reference values currently lacking in the extant literature and industry studies pertaining to Italy. Moreover, the study addresses additional key factors, including water savings, maintenance considerations, and safety implications.

“Canalvoltaico” in Emilia-Romagna, Italy: Assessing Technical, Economic, and Environmental Feasibility of Suspended Photovoltaic Panels over Water Canals

Solfrini, Valentino
Conceptualization
;
Farneti, Riccardo
Formal Analysis
;
Rossi, Jessica
Methodology
;
Bianchini, Augusto
Validation
;
Morolli, Matteo
Data Curation
;
Savini, Ivan
Visualization
2023

Abstract

Solar energy has become an increasingly important part of the global energy mix. In Italy, the photovoltaic power installed has grown by 40% since 2015, which raises the issue of land use and occupation. A viable alternative, already experienced in India, is placing solar panels on the top of water canals (Canal-Top—in Italian, “Canalvoltaico”). It is a relatively new and innovative approach to solar energy installation that offers several advantages including the potential to generate renewable energy without occupying additional land, reduce water evaporation from canals, and improve water quality by reducing algae growth. The article explores various Canal-Top solar projects over the world; then, a feasible application in the Italian region “Emilia-Romagna” is discussed, evaluating two potential construction designs. The primary aim is to establish a capital expenditure cost framework, offering reference values currently lacking in the extant literature and industry studies pertaining to Italy. Moreover, the study addresses additional key factors, including water savings, maintenance considerations, and safety implications.
2023
Solfrini, Valentino; Farneti, Riccardo; Rossi, Jessica; Bianchini, Augusto; Morolli, Matteo; Savini, Ivan
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/950140
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