Solar Greenhouse to Produce Food and Electricity
Imagine a greenhouse that is producing solar power and food too. This excellent experiment is being done in Italy. The companies responsible for this project are Renewable energy company Solar ReFeel, CeRSAA and solar panel manufacturer Solyndra. The test site has been constructed at CeRSAA’s Albenga, Italy. The project intends to attain the production of both food and electricity. The research team also wants to validate the crop growth benefits of Solyndra’s technology by taking help of independent testing by a leading agricultural research institution.
The project region is spread over an area of 400 square meters at the CeRSAA research center. At this unique building, Solyndra’s photovoltaic systems have been incorporated into the greenhouse structures. Solyndra is going for an exclusive cylindrical technology (see video above). This technology helps in capturing direct, diffused, and reflected sunlight across a 360 degree surface and at the same time permitting a uniform transmission of light for the plants underneath.
The study will focus on the production of numerous crops common in the Mediterranean region. They will observe, measure and evaluate these crops which are grown under the greenhouse structures with the integrated solar system. This project will quantify and compare the yield and the expected benefit for crops grown under Solyndra’s new, integrated greenhouse structures with same crops grown in usual greenhouses.
The time span of this project will be 24 months. During this period all the partners will provide their expertise to this project. CeRSAA, special agency of the Chamber of Commerce of Savona, will take care of the design and implementation of agricultural studies as per its specialization. CeRSAA will also be responsible for technical and human resources. Solyndra is the United States based producer of solar systems. It had supplied the greenhouse framework and photovoltaic components. Solyndra has also supervised the construction of the test site. Enerqos Group is a leader in the design and implementation of PV systems in Italy. They are providing installation support and electrical contracting.
Solar ReFeel has specialization in both the ground-mounted and rooftop photovoltaic plants. Solar ReFeel is coordinating the research amongst the involved parties. Solar ReFeel will share the research findings. They also intend to cash in on the successful products.
The goal of the study is to fully understand and take advantage of the extraordinary potential of greenhouse integrated solar power development as a long-term, substantial business model.