Solar panels also encourage plant growth
The Solyndra solution enhances plant growth by controlling shading while providing growers with an additional income stream and power for their operations. Research by agricultural establishments, such as CeRSAA in Italy and the Department of Plant Sciences, University of California Davis, USA, have confirmed the panel design’s ability to support crop growth underneath while generating electricity.
Greenhouse manufacturers can easily integrate Solyndra panels onto the roof of a greenhouse or shade structure. Complete coverage with Solyndra panels maximizes energy output per acre and generates a uniform shading comparable to the light transferred through conventional shade structures or whitewashing. The cylindrical design of the modules enables them to capture sunlight and generate electricity from direct, diffuse and reflected light.
Growers with Solyndra-enhanced greenhouses may choose to add an optional shade cloth to protect plants that require more shade during certain months of the year. Using a white cloth also allows some of the light to reflect back onto the tubes thereby increasing the energy output of the system. A venting system at the gables can be used since air circulation is important for plant health. Test sites have demonstrated that plants, such as tomatoes and ornamental flowers grow well in the partial shading provided by Solyndra systems.
Solyndra is working with leading greenhouse manufacturers, EPCs (engineering, procurement, construction) and banks in Italy. Interested growers and agricultural cooperatives should contact Solyndra to be put in touch with an integrator in their area.