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Tinted semi‐transparent solar panels allow concurrent production of crops and electricity on the same cropland

Tinted semi‐transparent solar panels allow concurrent production of crops and electricity on the same cropland

Thompson, Elinor ORCID: 0000-0002-6434-9290, Bombelli, EL, Simon, Shubham, Watson, Hamish, Everard, Aldous, Schievano, Andrea, Bocchi, Stefano, Zand Fard, Nazanin, Howe, Christopher J. and Bombelli, Paolo (2020) Tinted semi‐transparent solar panels allow concurrent production of crops and electricity on the same cropland. Advanced Energy Materials, 10 (35):2001189. ISSN 1614-6832 (Print), 1614-6840 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/aenm.202001189)

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Abstract

Agrivoltaics describes concurrent agricultural production of crops and photovoltaic generation of electricity on the same cropland. By using tinted semi-transparent solar panels, this study introduces a novel element to transform the concept of agrivoltaics from just solar-sharing to selective utilisation of different light wavelengths. Agrivoltaic growth of basil and spinach was tested. When compared with classical agriculture, the agrivoltaic co-generation of biomass and electricity displayed financial gross gain calculated as +18% for basil and +113% for spinach. This was accompanied by a relative increase in the protein content for both plants grown under agrivoltaic conditions. Agrivoltaics implemented with tinted solar panels improved the photosynthetic use of solar radiation up to 69%, including the source-sink relationship, with up to 63% increase in shoot to root investment. Agrivoltaics can enrich the portfolio of farmers, mitigate risks associated with climate and vastly enhance the global photovoltaics capacity without compromising agricultural production.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: photovoltaic, light wavelength, plant, agriculture, solar energy
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Biology & Biotechnology Research Group
Faculty of Engineering & Science > School of Science (SCI)
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2020 16:05
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: REF 2
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/28472

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