Page last updated at 23:23 GMT, Thursday, 8 May 2008 00:23 UK

Water lily plan for solar power

Aerial impression of lily discs on river
The lily-shaped discs would be tethered along the River Clyde

Large lily-shaped discs which harness solar power could soon be seen floating on the River Clyde.

The concept, from Glasgow-based ZM Architecture, has been handed to the city council with the hope that a trial project could go-ahead.

The proposal has already won the firm the International Design Awards (IDA) Land and Sea Competition.

Judges were impressed by the idea that energy harnessed on a river could help reduce a city's carbon footprint.

In the IDA project description, ZM Architecture said its project proposed to stimulate river activity and change by using the surface to harness solar power on a large scale.

Rotating discs

The energy created would then be transformed and exported to the national grid.

The firm said the design of the lilypads was "inspired by nature" and they could be tethered to the river bed.

Integrated motors would then rotate the discs to follow the sun for maximum output.

ZM Architecture director, Peter Richardson, said: "We are delighted to be recognised for our commitment to providing alternative energy solutions and are excited about the potential of this idea in a range of contexts."

The company hopes Glasgow City Council will be interested in developing a small pilot project in conjunction with the Science Centre.


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