Solar Energy, Photosynthesis, Symbiosis.
The pv panels industry is thriving across Europe & plant cultivation technology is rightfully at the forefront of revolutionising how we might typically produce abundant food sustainably in the future.
Over the past decade the cost of solar panels & modern day manufacturing has typically continued to fall while simultaneously huge growth in the industry has taken place. A creative technological drive is truly taking place to promptly make our methods of energy and food production more sustainable.
Individually, for both sectors to act efficiently, enormous expansive areas of land are naturally depended upon for food cultivation and solar energy farms.
We have all seen the familiar images of vast arrays of solar panels covering wide areas of land mass right? The tragic truth is the solar panels represent the only productive force. In these bleak scenarios, the fertile land beneath is serving no other purpose than to merely help the modern technology above thrive. However, things are changing! It would seem an innovative solution to combine both in a sustainable way is not only here now but also growing rapidly.
Agrivoltaics is the specific term that was coined for the simultaneous use of agricultural land with photovoltaic solar power to reliably produce both food and renewable energy in tandem.
Typically, installations are sufficiently showing encouraging signs that properly using agrivoltaic solar PV technology stimulates sensitive habitats for the plants and animals of a particular region. The innovative technology could possibly be on the cusp of revolutionising a more sustainable way to grow our food.
Historically, the repeatedly criticized concept of seamlessly combining photovoltaic solar energy and expansive crop area photosynthesis seemed highly unlikely.
This thinking was that, fundamentally, we had to accurately account for the vast amounts of continuous daylight and plentiful sunshine required for both. However, the self-evident truth regarding cultivated plants and photosynthesis, correctly is that; plants are naturally limited to a sufficient amount of direct sunlight.
This undoubtedly means the photosynthesis process is at considerable risk of over exposure from excessive weather elements and climate change.
When we carefully consider the damaging power of too much direct heat from the sun plus extensive rainfall, the fundamental principle behind agrivoltaics is indeed rational and effective.
An efficient agrivoltaic process tremendously improves the possible ways in which we could typically exploit agricultural land through the economic expansion of solar power generation. And, all this while seamlessly combined with the ecological preservation of mass land acreage.
The process can adequately protect cultivated plants and fertile earth from the detrimental effects of excessive rainfall and prolonged heat from direct sunlight. This is simply performed through precise shade from the solar panels above and water condensing beneath them.
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The efficient system generously allows for adequate shade amply provided from the panels overhead. Simultaneously they are harnessing, and storing, surplus sunlight that is otherwise wasted and is also extremely damaging to crop development through over exposure.
Water movement in and out of plants causes evaporation through exposed parts such as their flowering stems, leaves and so on. This gradual process is referred to as transpiration and is hugely important to crop development. However, before the organic liquid can evaporate from the cultivated plants, it is adequately captured on the underside of the elite panels.
This is extremely beneficial to their potential productivity and operational efficiency by cooling them down. But this is not the only good news! The captured liquid also reduces precious water naturally needed for the plentiful crops below.
At this stage, much more research is required but the future looks promising so far!