Floating rafts of solar energy collectors could provide cheaper electrical power than their landlubber cousins, according to New Scientist 24/6/2006, p.29).
Standard solar collectors expensive: Standard collectors use lenses to track the position of the sun and concentrate sunlight onto solar cells. To withstand the damaging forces of strong winds, they need to be made from tough materials such as steel, which makes them expensive.
Wind-protected option: Phil Connor of Sunengy in Mount Kuring-gai, New South Wales, Australia, believes a better idea would be to float arrays of solar collectors on lakes. Wind sensors connected to the rafts would allow the lenses to be lowered beneath the water to protect them if the wind speeds exceeded 50 to 6o kilometres per hour. The arrays could then be made of cheaper plastics rather than steel.
New Scientist, 24/6/2006, p. 29
Source: Erisk Net