Skip to main content

Kyocera unveils world’s largest floating solar panel system

Kyocera TCL Solar Inaugurates Floating Mega Solar Power Plants in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan
The Japanese are seemingly perpetually at the forefront of innovation, and when it comes to environmental consciousness, the island nation is now more exemplary than ever. In a move that will likely be much more effective (and is certainly much cooler) than the Kyoto Protocol, Japanese electronics maker Kyocera Corporation unveiled the world’s largest floating solar power station, which boasts 9,000 solar panels that are fully waterproof and sit comfortably atop the water’s surface.

Operations were officially kicked off on Thursday, and with an estimated production of 2,680 megawatt-hours per year, this enormous floating power source has the capacity to power 820 households. But this floating farm of power is just the prelude to the even larger project to be unveiled near Tokyo, which will be able to provide for the electricity needs of some 5,000 households next year.

As per a report by Korea Water Resources Corporation, the benefits of floating these panels on water come in the form of energy efficiency. The cooling effect of the water beneath the solar cells makes them 11 percent more efficient than those on land, and with the shade that these giant panels provide, they also prevent evaporation and excessive algae growth, making them environmentally friendlier still.

Supposedly, these systems are also remarkably hardy, capable of withstanding winds of up to 118 miles per hour, and are even earthquake proof, obviously a consideration in Japan. And with Japan’s goal of switching entirely to renewable energy sources by 2040, these floating solar panels could be a large step in the right direction.

A number of other countries have taken a page out of the Japanese book, with India, Australia, Great Britain, Brazil, and even Sonoma County, California adopting similar models. As Ichiro Ikeda, a Kyocera spokesman, told the National Geographic, “There is great potential in carrying out solar power generation on these water surfaces.”

Editors' Recommendations

Lulu Chang
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Fascinated by the effects of technology on human interaction, Lulu believes that if her parents can use your new app…
The best portable power stations
EcoFlow DELTA 2 on table at campsite for quick charging.

Affordable and efficient portable power is a necessity these days, keeping our electronic devices operational while on the go. But there are literally dozens of options to choose from, making it abundantly difficult to decide which mobile charging solution is best for you. We've sorted through countless portable power options and came up with six of the best portable power stations to keep your smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other gadgets functioning while living off the grid.
The best overall: Jackery Explorer 1000

Jackery has been a mainstay in the portable power market for several years, and today, the company continues to set the standard. With three AC outlets, two USB-A, and two USB-C plugs, you'll have plenty of options for keeping your gadgets charged.

Read more
CES 2023: HD Hyundai’s Avikus is an A.I. for autonomous boat and marine navigation
Demonstration of NeuBoat level 2 autonomous navigation system at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

This content was produced in partnership with HD Hyundai.
Autonomous vehicle navigation technology is certainly nothing new and has been in the works for the better part of a decade at this point. But one of the most common forms we see and hear about is the type used to control steering in road-based vehicles. That's not the only place where technology can make a huge difference. Autonomous driving systems can offer incredible benefits to boats and marine vehicles, too, which is precisely why HD Hyundai has unveiled its Avikus AI technology -- for marine and watercraft vehicles.

More recently, HD Hyundai participated in the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, to demo its NeuBoat level 2 autonomous navigation system for recreational boats. The name mashes together the words "neuron" and "boat" and is quite fitting since the Avikus' A.I. navigation tech is a core component of the solution, it will handle self-recognition, real-time decisions, and controls when on the water. Of course, there are a lot of things happening behind the scenes with HD Hyundai's autonomous navigation solution, which we'll dive into below -- HD Hyundai will also be introducing more about the tech at CES 2023.

Read more
This AI cloned my voice using just three minutes of audio
acapela group voice cloning ad

There's a scene in Mission Impossible 3 that you might recall. In it, our hero Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) tackles the movie's villain, holds him at gunpoint, and forces him to read a bizarre series of sentences aloud.

"The pleasure of Busby's company is what I most enjoy," he reluctantly reads. "He put a tack on Miss Yancy's chair, and she called him a horrible boy. At the end of the month, he was flinging two kittens across the width of the room ..."

Read more