Expansion of solar energy continues to grow globally - even floating


Solar energy from a Swiss mountain lake
Products from Stäubli, the market leader for photovoltaic connectors, are already being used
in these types of applications as well. For example, they are part of a recent installation on Lac
de Toules, a Swiss mountain lake located 5940 feet above sea level. If the pilot project in the
Valais Alps is successful, enough electricity will eventually be generated to power over 6000
homes. The current project consists of 36 bifacial photovoltaic modules covering an area of
over 24,000 square feet, with an estimated production of 800,000 kWh per year (the yearly
consumption of about 220 homes).

Unique climate conditions
What’s most interesting about this project is its unusual — and so far, one-of-a-kind — location
in the mountains. With the thinner mountain air and the stronger UV radiation at this altitude,
it should be possible to generate up to 50% more solar energy. In addition, the sunlight is
reflected by the snow in winter. Stäubli PV connectors are exceptionally robust, ensuring safe
and loss-free power transmission under the tough conditions on Lac de Toules. They can
withstand local weather conditions that include temperatures as low as -22°F and winds of
up to 75 miles per hour.
“Stäubli is ready to meet the growing need for photovoltaic installations,” confirms Matthias
Mack, Director of Global Alternative Energies at Stäubli, “and we’re ready to support and help
shape technological developments in this market.”

 

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