The University of Arizona (UA), in collaboration with RePower Design, has developed a new technology that slows the evaporation of water from mining tailings ponds and reservoirs, while simultaneously generating solar energy, reports Mining Innovation News.
Called Hexocover, the technology consists of modular floating hexagonal plastic panels that can be linked together to cover over an open body of water to slow the evaporation process. When configured with solar cells, the panels can simultaneously generate electricity.
The panels are fitted with a propulsion system and GPS to allow remote configuration and for the cover to move easily when the water reserves are re-filled.
UA and RePower worked with Tech Launch Arizona, a unit of UA, to execute an exclusive license to bring the invention to market. The license provides RePower the sole power to commercialize the technology.
The mining industry has been historically slow to adopt renewable energy technology, according to a 2013 Navigant Research report.