With the development of the solar industry, the scope of application of batteries using solar systems to generate electricity is expanding. Now they are in use not only for powering houses but also to charge cars, operate gadgets, etc. Agriculture has become one of the applications. Solar panels for farm use can help farmers increase yields, improve product quality and reduce the carbon footprint of production. How does this happen?
Let’s figure it out.
Main Problems and Their Solution
The process of growing crops with solar panels for farmers even has its name – agro-electric agriculture. It did not appear randomly.
The first problem with the way we grow crops is the significant carbon footprint. In the context of such a significant climate change, which occurs precisely under the influence of colossal CO2 emissions, this is unacceptable.
The second problem is the growing hunger associated with the growing population. This is total malnutrition, which under the current conditions will steadily increase because the changing climate also leads to unstable crop yields.
Agro-electric agriculture can solve both problems. With its help, it will be possible to grow crops in more constant optimal conditions, which will not be so strongly influenced by climate. In addition, farmers will not be motivated to constantly compete, they will be able to simply share the land and work on an equal footing.
If you are ready to install panels on your farm, just select “solar companies near me”, explore all the offers, and find the one that best suits your needs. And according to the results of the studies, some types of crops even grow better under the influence of solar panels.
Examples of the Effectiveness of Agro-electric Agriculture
In South Korea, they have already proven the effectiveness of solar farming in the example of growing broccoli and reflected all the results in their studies. Researchers installed the system at an angle of 20 degrees, 2-3 meters above ground. Thus, they protected the crops from precipitation and created shade from the sun.
Source: World Economic Forum
When the harvest was received, it turned out that its quality was no worse than that of broccoli, which was grown in the usual way. But the appearance has changed and become better. The green shade has become deeper and more attractive, it is this color that evokes more emotions in buyers and encourages them to purchase.
An experiment was also conducted in Kenya. The sponsors of the agricultural project Agrivoltaic decided to try to grow crops in an area that was considered not fertile. They installed the systems at a height of several meters according to a certain pattern, which allowed them to completely immerse the earth in the shade. This made it possible to protect the culture from water loss and the aggressive effects of the sun. The result exceeded all expectations.
The approach to installing agricultural solar panels is gradually being adopted by other countries. For example, one project was organized in France. There is a hope that soon they will be observed everywhere. But the most important thing is that all this should give humanity great opportunities.
Microclimate of Agro-electric Agriculture
Since the beginning of the use of solar panels for farms, it has been realized that the potential of using this artificial microclimate can increase the efficiency of the land and affect the operation of the panels themselves.
So, if you install the panels at a certain height, you can significantly reduce their operating temperature. But the height should be around 4-5 meters above the plants. This temperature difference will result in increased efficiency and lifetime of the systems.
Globally, this dependence will lead to an even greater reduction in carbon footprint and the absence of the need for frequent replacements of systems and individual panels. It has even begun to be in use in different countries to stabilize the operation of solar farms.
How Solar Panels Are Helping Farmers Improve Crop Yields
Some of the main problems in agriculture are:
1. The high cost of energy
It is constantly rising, and with it, the prices of other resources are rising. Unfortunately, gasoline, diesel, sediment, lighting, and other equipment are becoming more expensive, and this leads to the complication of the work of small and medium-sized farms.
2. Climate change
Unusual drought in some areas and sudden snow in others, as well as even greater drought in familiar places, reduce crop yields. This is unacceptable in the current situation, because. economic destabilization of trade is already on the brink.
3. The harmful impact on the environment
To somehow even out the situation with climate change, significant energy and fuel costs are often in use, which immediately leads to an increase in the carbon footprint. The latter is more harmful to the environment and accelerates the process of global warming.
To break the vicious circle agro-electricity is in need, which leads to:
Reducing the cost of maintaining farms
From a global perspective, installing even a large number of panels will fully pay for itself and lead to an overall reduction in maintenance costs.
Obtaining a reliable energy source
By connecting batteries to the system that stores excess energy, you can forget about problems with electricity. At any time of the day or night, the farm will be able to work due to the generated or stored energy.
Increasing the yield
By controlling humidity, light, temperature, and CO2 consumption with solar panels, it is possible to completely adjust the process of growing crops. This results in higher yields. As we have said, this also comes at the expense of being able to grow food plants in areas that previously failed to produce crops.
Improvement of the soil
Even such a banal reduction in the rate of evaporation of water on and in the soil already leads to the optimization of both the soil itself and an increase in yield. There is a better process of accumulation of nutrients and the turnover of micro and macro elements necessary for the earth.
Overall, the use of batteries in agriculture can help improve resource efficiency, reduce energy costs, and reduce harmful impacts on consumption. This can lead to increased yields, improved product quality, and a significant reduction in production costs.
As you can see, the use of solar agriculture is an important step for the world. Today, a separate term agroelectricity has already appeared, implying an increase in the number of crops in the areas familiar to cultivation. The panels also help when growing crops in areas that are not optimized for growing crops, as evidenced by research.
Therefore, the use of solar energy in agriculture is simply necessary to minimize the carbon footprint, cope with hunger and make fertile land that did not produce crops.
Also read: Home Energy Storage – Can Greatly Help You Save Money on Electricity