Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Greenhouses and solar power: Crop testing with a special photovoltaic panel for greenhouses

Date:
January 11, 2012
Source:
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Summary:
A new photovoltaic module allows electricity to be generated without greenhouse crops being affected by over-shading.

Greenhouse panels.
Credit: Neiker-Tecnalia

With the support of the ULMA Group's innovation area, ULMA Agrícola, following the agreement signed with Tecnalia through its Energy Unit, has installed photovoltaic modules on one of its two glass greenhouse units measuring approximately 400 m2.

The new photovoltaic module developed by the ULMA Agrícola consortium, the innovation area of the ULMA Group, and Tecnalia allows electricity to be generated without the crops being affected by over-shading. Depending on the season of the year, solar radiation can be diverted by taking advantage of the annual oscillation in the height of the sun's trajectory; this is achieved through a lens-based optical system. Without the need for any solar mechanical monitoring, the technology allows the needs imposed by any crop to be met. So during the winter (October-February), the light inside the greenhouse, a key parameter for correct plant development, barely falls. But in summer the optical system diverts solar radiation towards the photovoltaic cells that make up the module, thus achieving a dual aim: to provide the greenhouse with cooling during the critical period of high temperatures and to increase electricity production through the photovoltaic system.

Right now, tests are being carried out in an ULMA Agrícola greenhouse belonging to the Neiker-Tecnalia R+D centre and located in Derio (Bizkaia, Basque Country). The crops selected for the initial tests are tomato and pepper. These two crops have been selected for the following reasons: they are two of the most common worldwide, they require a very large amount of light, and they are high added-value products within greenhouse agriculture.

In the tests conducted throughout the summer, the most critical parameters of the crop were measured, like total and PAR radiation, humidity and temperature. In addition, crop quality and production in the photovoltaic module were monitored by comparing them with data obtained under a normal glass roof. Positive results were obtained, and between mid November and the end of March 2012 a winter test is due to be carried out in which the same values will be monitored and from which similar results are expected to emerge. As regards electricity production, the first measures point to a 15% annual improvement over a standard photovoltaic system.

So the new module allows photovoltaic equipment to coexist with crops. What is more, it acts as an element for the seasonal control of the radiation and interior temperature of the greenhouse, apart from constituting additional support for the farmer's economic activity through the sale and/or private use of the energy obtained.

The technology developed enables the problems associated with winter over-shading and summer radiation to be avoided in a simple, robust and effective way. Having validated this in the field using ULMA Agrícola greenhouses, the consortium is aiming to have a product ready to be marketed by the second half of 2012.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elhuyar Fundazioa. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Elhuyar Fundazioa. "Greenhouses and solar power: Crop testing with a special photovoltaic panel for greenhouses." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120111103858.htm>.
Elhuyar Fundazioa. (2012, January 11). Greenhouses and solar power: Crop testing with a special photovoltaic panel for greenhouses. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120111103858.htm
Elhuyar Fundazioa. "Greenhouses and solar power: Crop testing with a special photovoltaic panel for greenhouses." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120111103858.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Is North Korea Planning Nuclear Test #4?

Is North Korea Planning Nuclear Test #4?

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — South Korean officials say North Korea is preparing to conduct another nuclear test, but is Pyongyang just bluffing this time? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
China Falls for 4x4s at Beijing Auto Show

China Falls for 4x4s at Beijing Auto Show

AFP (Apr. 22, 2014) — The urban 4x4 is the latest must-have for Chinese drivers, whose conversion to the cult of the SUV is the talking point of this year's Beijing auto show. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lytro Introduces 'Illum,' A Professional Light-Field Camera

Lytro Introduces 'Illum,' A Professional Light-Field Camera

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — The light-field photography engineers at Lytro unveiled their next innovation: a professional DSLR-like camera called "Illum." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3 Reasons Why Harley Davidson Is Selling Tons of Epic Hogs

3 Reasons Why Harley Davidson Is Selling Tons of Epic Hogs

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) — Sales of motorcycles have continued to ride back from the depths of hell known as the Great Recession. Excluding scooters, sales of motorcycles increased 3% in 2013. In units, however, at 465,000 sold last year, the total remained about 50% below the peak hit in 2007. Industry leader Harley Davidson’s shareholders have benefited both by the industry recovery and positive headlines emanating from the company. Belus Capital Advisors CEO Brian Sozzi takes you beyond the headlines of the motorcycle maker. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins