Solar Greenhouses

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Laminated Organic Photovoltaic Modules for Agrivoltaics and Beyond: An Outdoor Stability Study of All-Polymer and Polymer: Small Molecule Blends

In this study, a donor:acceptor polymer blend is optimized for its use in laminated devices while matching the optical needs of crops. The study reveals degradation modes undetectable under laboratory conditions such as module delamination, which accounts for 10–20% loss in active area. Among the active layers tested, polymer:fullerene blends are the most stable and position as robust light harvesters in future building-integrated organic photovoltaic systems.
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Yield Response and Physiological Adaptation of Green Beans to Photovoltaic Greenhouses

This study evaluates green bean cultivation inside greenhouses with photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roof. Researchers found that the beans adapted to the change in shading by relocating more resources to the stems and leaves. As a result, average yield decreased compared to that of a conventional greenhouse. However, an economic trade-off between energy and crop yield can be achieved with a panel coverage of 10%. The research also provides an experimental framework that could be replicated and used as a decision support tool to identify other crops suitable for solar greenhouse cultivation.
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Compatibility between Crops and Solar Panels: An Overview from Shading Systems

This article examines current literature regarding the application of shading systems alongside crop production, with a focus on photovoltaic panels and greenhouse studies. After reviewing 113 articles, the authors conclude that most studies do justify the co-location of photovoltaic panels and crops. However, more crop-specific research is necessary to determine the optimum percentage of panels that will not reduce agriculture production.
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Luminescent Enhancement for Combined Solar and Commercial Agriculture

This project developed a new racking/mounting system combined with a new specialized solar panel for low-cost implementation in a hybrid high tunnel greenhouse. The project successfully demonstrated that high value crops can successfully be combined with solar electricity production, even resulting in improvements to yields for certain crops.
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Global energy assessment of the potential of photovoltaics for greenhouse farming

Agrivoltaic (APV) systems have emerged as a promising solution to reduce the land-use competition between PV technology and agriculture. Despite its potential, APV is in a learning stage and it is still necessary to devote big efforts to investigate its actual potential and outdoor performance. This work is focused on the analysis of APV systems in agriculture greenhouses at global scale in terms of energy yield. In this study, a novel dual APV model is introduced, projected in four representative locations with a high crop cultivation greenhouse implantation, i.e. El Ejido (Spain), Pachino (Italy), Antalya (Turkey) and Vicente Guerrero (Mexico), and for 15 representative plant cultivars from 5 different important socioeconomic families of crops, i.e. Cucurbitaceae, Fabaceae, Solanacae, Poaceae, Rosaceae. At this stage, semi-transparent c-Si PV technology has been considered due its high efficiency and reliability. The results show that APV systems could have a transparency factor around 68% without significantly affecting the total crop photosynthetic rate. Taking this into account, APV systems would produce an average annual energy around 135 kWh/m2, and values around 200 kWh/m2 under a favorable scenario. This could represent a contribution to the total market share between 2.3% (Mexico) and 6% (Turkey), and up to 100% of the consumption demand of greenhouses equipped with heating and cooling (GSHP), and lighting.
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UV-selective Organic Absorbers for the Cosensitization of Greenhouse-Integrated Dyesensitized Solar Cells: Synthesis and Computational Study

This report discusses the synthesis of four new symmetrical UV-absorbing diimides organic dyes for potential cosensitization process in greenhouse-integrated dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs). Molecular cosensitization is favorable for manipulating solar radiation through the judicious choice of cosensitizers having complementary absorption spectra. For greenhouse-integrated dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs), the manipulation of solar radiation is crucial in order to maximize the flow of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) for the effectual photosynthetic active radiation (PAR) for the effectual photosynthetic activity of plants; meanwhile, non-PAR is utilized in agrivoltaics for generating electricity.
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Wavelength-Selective Solar Photovoltaic Systems: Powering Greenhouses for Plant Growth at the Food-Energy-Water Nexus

This report reveals that increasing the sustainability of food production will require development of new mixed-use technologies. Also discussed is that novel electricity-generating windows (Wavelength-Selective Photovoltaic Systems, WSPVs) are suitable for use in greenhouses for growing plants. Results show minimal lasting effects of growth under WSPVs on plant physiology and development, thus WSPVs represent a new wedge for decarbonizing the food system.
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Solar Power Europe Agrisolar Best Practices Guidelines

This AgriSolar Best Practices Guide is intended to assist farmers, PV developers, regulators, and other stakeholders in developing high quality Agrisolar projects. The guide provides Best Practices for Agri-PV systems, PV on agricultural buildings, and open-field applications. Also included in this guide are discussions of trends and innovations in the AgriSolar community. This guide defines the key actions required of all parties involved in project development to maximize the sustainability of Agrisolar projects, from an agronomical, ecological, and financial perspective.
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Solar Radiation Distribution Inside a Greenhouse with South-oriented Photovoltaic Roofs and Effects on Crop Productivity

This study assessed the climate conditions inside a greenhouse in which 50% of the roof area was replaced with photovoltaic (PV) modules, describing the solar radiation distribution and the variability of temperature and humidity. The distribution of the solar radiation observed in this study is useful for choosing the most suitable crops and for designing PV greenhouses with the attitude for both energy and crop production. The study also includes suggestions for a better agronomic sustainability of agrivoltaic systems.
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Solar Radiation Distribution Inside a Monospan Greenhouse with the Roof Entirely Covered by Photovoltaic Panels

The long-term analysis in this study demonstrated a good capability of the numerical model to predict the shading effect inside a photovoltaic greenhouse combining the daily calculated exposed percentage with measurements of solar radiation. Photon flux daily values inside a PV greenhouse were calculated and measured from April 18th to June 8th in 2014. Commercial software was used to calculate the exposed percentage values for the greenhouse being studied. This study shows that modern software can be utilized in optimizing PV greenhouse operations.
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Semi-Transparent Organic Photovoltaics Applied as Greenhouse Shade for Spring and Summer Tomato Production in Arid Climate

Overall, this study demonstrated that the use of semi-transparent OPVs as a seasonal shade element for greenhouse production in a high-light region is feasible. However, a higher transmission of PAR and greater OPV device efficiency and durability could make OPV shades more economically viable, providing a desirable solution for co-located greenhouse crop production and renewable energy generation in hot and high-light intensity regions.
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Performance Analysis of Thermoelectric Generator Implemented on Non-uniform Heat Distribution of Photovoltaic Module

The PV–TEG hybrid system is widely discussed nowadays as an alternative way to maximize solar-radiation energy, which is from both light and heat. This study explains the electro-thermal effects that occur in series and parallel arrays of TEG that are exposed to non-uniform temperature gradients. The study included three experiments: Individual preliminary tests for thermoelectric module-type selections, series and parallel array configurations, and sampling on PV-TEG hybrid applications. The results of these experiments can be used as a tool for optimizing the design and development of components of agrisolar operations.
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Feasibility study of a blind-type photovoltaic roof-shade system designed for simultaneous production of crops and electricity in a greenhouse

This study investigated the feasibility of a greenhouse roof with an integrated semi- transparent PV-blind system to provide moderate shading conditions to greenhouse crops along with simultaneous electrical energy generation. The results in this study can be used to optimize variations of agrivoltaic operations and their development in the future.
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Balancing crop production and energy harvesting in organic solar-powered greenhouses

This study shows that adding semitransparent organic solar cells (ST-OSCs) to a greenhouse structure enables simultaneous plant cultivation and electricity generation, thereby reducing the greenhouse energy demand. To lower the energy footprint of greenhouses, there has been growing interest in integrating solar cells onto the greenhouse structure. In this approach, a portion of light is captured by the solar cells to generate power, while the remaining light transmits into the greenhouse for crop production. The results of this study can benefit development of agrivoltaic operations by maximizing the amount of sunlight reaching plants grown in greenhouses.
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An Algorithm for the Calculation of the Light Distribution in Photovoltaic Greenhouses

This study introduces a novel algorithm to estimate the accumulated global radiation inside photovoltaic (PV) greenhouses at desired time intervals. These features have been considered in the design of agrivoltaic systems, which integrate energy and food production on the same land unit. The PV greenhouse achieves this goal by integrating the PV panels on the roof. This is useful especially in locations where the land resource is limited.
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Agrivoltaic Systems Design and Assessment: A Critical Review, and a Descriptive Model towards a Sustainable Landscape Vision

This study reviews and analyzes the technological and spatial design options that have become available to date implementing a rigorous, comprehensive analysis based on the most updated knowledge in the field, and proposes a thorough methodology based on design and performance parameters that enable us to define the main attributes of the system from a trans-disciplinary perspective. Agrivoltaic systems have been the subject of numerous studies due to their potential in the food–energy nexus. Demonstrative projects with new conceptual designs based on PV modules for covering open fields have shown promising results through optimizing light availability while reducing the need for irrigation and protecting from extreme weather phenomena.
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Advances on the Semi-transparent Modules Based on Micro-solar Cells

This study addresses spherical micro-cells that are a semi-transparent photovoltaic (PV) technology which can contribute to improve the sustainability of greenhouse systems. The prototype STM is promising for greenhouse roof applications and its performance can be improved by increasing the conversion efficiency. Results of the study show that the balance of the light distribution for plant growth and electricity production should be designed carefully according to the nature of the light requirements of cultivated plants in the greenhouse.
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A Photovoltaic Greenhouse with Variable Shading

The purpose of this study is to present the potentiality of an innovative prototype photovoltaic greenhouse with variable shading to optimize energy production by photovoltaic panels and agricultural production. The results show how the shading variation enabled regulation of the internal radiation, choosing the minimum value of necessary radiation, because the internal micro-climatic parameters must be compatible with the needs of the plant species grown in the greenhouses. In agrivoltaic systems, these considerations could be useful in optimization of the operations identified in this study.