Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Solar Energy News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



SOLAR DAILY
Solar greenhouses generate electricity and grow healthy crops
by Staff Writers
Santa Cruz CA (SPX) Nov 06, 2017


Plants grown in this 'smart' greenhouse fared as well or better than plants grown in conventional greenhouses.

The first crops of tomatoes and cucumbers grown inside electricity-generating solar greenhouses were as healthy as those raised in conventional greenhouses, signaling that "smart" greenhouses hold great promise for dual-use farming and renewable electricity production.

"We have demonstrated that 'smart greenhouses' can capture solar energy for electricity without reducing plant growth, which is pretty exciting," said Michael Loik, professor of environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and lead author on a paper that appears in the current issue of the American Geophysical Union's journal Earth's Future.

Electricity-generating solar greenhouses utilize Wavelength-Selective Photovoltaic Systems (WSPVs), a novel technology that generates electricity more efficiently and at less cost than traditional photovoltaic systems. These greenhouses are outfitted with transparent roof panels embedded with a bright magenta luminescent dye that absorbs light and transfers energy to narrow photovoltaic strips, where electricity is produced.

WSPVs absorb some of the blue and green wavelengths of light but let the rest through, allowing the plants to grow. WSPV technology was developed by coauthors Sue Carter and Glenn Alers, both professors of physics at UC Santa Cruz, who founded Soliculture in 2012 to bring the technology to market.

Loik's team monitored photosynthesis and fruit production across 20 varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers, lemons, limes, peppers, strawberries, and basil grown in magenta glasshouses at two locations on campus and one in Watsonville, California.

"Eighty percent of the plants weren't affected, while 20 percent actually grew better under the magenta windows," said Loik. Tomatoes and cucumbers are among the top greenhouse-produced crops worldwide, he said.

In additional experiments, small water savings were associated with tomato photosynthesis inside the magenta glasshouses. "Plants required 5 percent less water to grow the same amount as in more conventional glasshouses," he said.

"I thought the plants would grow more slowly, because it's darker under these pink panels. The color of the light makes it like being on the Red Planet," said Loik. "Plants are sensitive not just to the intensity of light but also to color. But it turns out the plants grow just as well."

Reducing the energy consumed by greenhouses has become a priority as the global use of greenhouses for food production has increased six-fold over the past 20 years to more than 9 million acres today - roughly twice the size of New Jersey, according to Loik. "It's big and getting bigger," he said. "Canada relies heavily on greenhouses for vegetable production, and their use is growing in China, too." Plastic greenhouses are becoming popular for small-scale commercial farming, as well as for household food production, he added.

Greenhouses use electricity to control temperature and power fans, lights, and other monitoring systems. "This technology has the potential to take greenhouses offline," said Loik, who specializes in climate change, plant physiology, water resources, and sustainable technologies. Cost per panel of WSPV technology is 65 cents per watt - about 40 percent less than the per-watt cost of traditional silicon-based photovoltaic cells.

"If greenhouses generate electricity on site, that reduces the need for an outside source, which helps lower greenhouse gas emissions even more," said Loik. "We're moving toward self-sustaining greenhouses."

Research paper

SOLAR DAILY
US renewable energy booms despite Trump vow to quit Paris deal
Washington (AFP) Nov 4, 2017
Renewable energy continues to grow in the United States, despite US President Donald Trump's moves to dismantle clean power, deregulate industry and promote fossil fuels like coal, experts say. Five months after Trump declared the United States would withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate accord, the Republican leader continues to unravel the environmental legacy of his predecessor, Democrat B ... read more

Related Links
University of California - Santa Cruz
All About Solar Energy at SolarDaily.com


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

SOLAR DAILY
Penn researchers mimic giant clams to enhance the production of biofuel

Research aims to help renewable jet fuel take flight

Expanding Brazilian sugarcane could dent global CO2 emissions

Stiff fibers spun from slime

SOLAR DAILY
Researchers unveil tool to debug 'black box' deep learning algorithms

Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods

Liquid metal brings soft robotics a step closer

Intel working with Facebook on chips for AI

SOLAR DAILY
New York sets high bar for wind energy

Construction to begin on $160 million Industry Leading Hybrid Renewable Energy Project

A kite that might fly

Scotland outreach to Canada yields wind energy investment

SOLAR DAILY
Texas applauds free-market move on electric vehicles

Tesla slides on murky outlook for fixing Model 3 production woes

Investors fuel a multibillion-dollar ride-sharing frenzy

Energy firms back investment into diesel engine

SOLAR DAILY
New studies on disordered cathodes may provide much-needed jolt to lithium batteries

UNIST unveils new fast-charging, high-energy electric-car battery technology

Cobalt and tungsten the key to cheaper, cleaner hydrogen

New research findings could lead to safer and more powerful lithium-ion batteries

SOLAR DAILY
Rutgers-led research could revolutionize nuclear waste reprocessing and save money

Bulgaria extends life of Soviet-era nuclear reactor

South Korea to push ahead with nuclear power plants

AREVA NP awarded contract for safety upgrades in seven reactors

SOLAR DAILY
Japan faces challenges in cutting CO2, Moody's finds

IEA: An electrified world would cost $31B per year to achieve

'Fuel-secure' steps in Washington counterintuitive, green group says

SLAC-led project will use AI to prevent or minimize electric grid failures

SOLAR DAILY
Beer o'clock in the Amazon: the tribe that loves to party

Honduran state, power company, involved in activist murder: experts

Peatland plants adapting well to climate change

Tropical forest reserves slow down global warming




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement