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Smart Solar Greenhouses To Produce Renewable Electricity

07-11-2017 11:00 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream

Smart Solar Greenhouses To Produce Renewable Electricity | My Indian Dream

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Greenhouses to generate electricity without affecting plants

In a groundbreaking development, scientists from the University of California have developed ‘smart’ greenhouses that can produce renewable energy without affecting the growth of plants. Researchers said that the first crops of tomatoes and cucumbers grown inside electricity-generating solar greenhouses were as healthy as those raised in conventional greenhouses.

The new technology, Wavelength-Selective Photovoltaic Systems (WSPVs) generates electricity more efficiently and at less cost than traditional photovoltaic systems.

These greenhouses are outfitted with transparent roof panels embedded with a bright magenta luminescent dye that absorbs light and transfers energy to narrow photovoltaic strips, where electricity is produced. WSPVs absorb some of the blue and green wavelengths of light but let the rest through, allowing the plants to grow.

The technology was developed by coauthors Sue Carter and Glenn Alers, both professors of physics at UC Santa Cruz. The team monitored photosynthesis and fruit production across 20 varieties of plants grown in magenta glasshouses. They found that eighty percent of the plants weren’t affected, while 20 percent actually grew better under the magenta windows.

Michael Loik, from University of California (UC), said that this is an exciting development. He said that if greenhouses generate electricity on site, that reduces the need for an outside source, which helps lower greenhouse gas emissions even more.

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