Use of solar technologies across the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors has increased in recent times. As several domains within these sectors undergo complete integration of solar systems, new technologies are emerging across key industries. Greenhouses are amongst the latest systems that could be overhauled to embrace 100% solar integration.
Research conducted at the North Caroline State University finds new pathways for developing solar-based greenhouses. Transparent solar panels could find use to harvest energy for greenhouses. Furthermore, wavelengths of light that go unused by plants during photosynthesis can be exploited by these panels. Researchers in plant biology, engineering, and physics developed the aforementioned model. The University of North Carolina has conducted ground-breaking research in energy technologies.
Division of Wavelengths
The researchers break down the process of photosynthesis in order to explain their findings. Plants use only certain wavelengths of light for photosynthesis, while other wavelengths go unused. Therefore, the researchers propose to use these unused wavelengths, whilst allowing other wavelengths to pass through solar panels. The use of organic solar cells can help in accomplishing the aforementioned feat. Solar cells can help in separately tuning the wavelengths that may find use for photosynthesis and for solar panels. Researchers used organic, semi-transparent, and wavelength-selective solar cells for their research.
Use of Computational Methods
Until now, it was unclear as to how much energy is accumulated through transparent and selective solar panels. Use of computational methods helped researchers in understanding the amount of energy that could be drawn from these panels. Furthermore, these methods also helped them in gauging whether this energy was sufficient to run a greenhouse. The complexity of the model still poses several challenges for the researchers. The dynamics of wavelength distribution for photosynthesis and for the solar panels need to be defined.