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Mathematical Simulation and Technical Feasibility of Floating Solar Systems Installation in Hydroelectric Power Reservoirs in Brazil

Original scientific paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 12, Issue 1, 1120483
DOI: https://doi.org/10.13044/j.sdewes.d12.0483
Rubens Passos, José Antonio Seneda, Nilce Ortiz
Institute for Nuclear and Energy Research-IPEN, São Paulo, Brazil


The paper presents a feasibility study for the hybrid system operation of a hydroelectric power plant and a floating photovoltaic plant. Using the database of government agencies, the daily production of electrical energy and the corresponding water flow of the Ilha Solteira hydroelectric power plant in São Paulo, Brazil. The PVsyst software simulated the potential of 480 MWp of a floating photovoltaic plant in the hydroelectric power plant lake. The MATLAB software performed the mathematical modeling, analyzing 12 scenarios of weather conditions on hybrid electricity generation between the hydroelectric power plant (HPP) and the floating photovoltaic plant. The data obtained in the analyzed scenarios show an average monthly reduction of 6% in hydroelectric generation and 7% in the volume of water in the turbine, allowing the generation of electric energy from a floating photovoltaic plant and improving the reserves of water-energy stock, reducing the production of greenhouse gases (GHGs), and avoiding the emission of 55,000 tCO₂ year-1. The financial evaluation shows a cost of US$ 0.73 Wp-1, and 13 years for the floating photovoltaic plant system to start producing a profit. Yet the FPVP is advantageous because it shares the power transmission system of the hydroelectric plant (HPP), and it is not necessary to acquire large land areas.

Keywords: Solar energy, Hydroelectric plants, Floating photovoltaic plants, Hybrid system, Greenhouse gases, Financial assessment, Economic perspective.

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