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Agri 2022

Integration of semi-transparent photovoltaics in the greenhouse systems

Angeliki Kavga

Angeliki Kavga, Speaker at Agriculture Conference
University of Patras, Greece
Title : Integration of semi-transparent photovoltaics in the greenhouse systems

Abstract:

In this research, we will discuss the use of semi-transparent photovoltaic glasses (solar glasses) on the roof of a greenhouse installation. With the world's population growth approaching 9 billion people, according to the FAO, agricultural production should increase by about 70% by 2050. In this increase, greenhouse systems can be an important advantage, which by definition have the potential to increase production even in off-season products, without being disadvantaged either in terms of quantity or quality. On the other hand, the high energy consumption of greenhouses, either for heating (during cold periods), cooling (during hot seasons, respectively), or artificial lighting, cannot be omitted, with this consumption reaching 50% of the cost of the product produced. Due to climate change and the intensity offered to it by the use of fossil fuels for energy production, it is now imperative to have milder forms of energy, such as solar energy, also known as Renewable Energy Sources – RES. With the agricultural sector being part of a wider political, social and economic context, the need to introduce more environmentally friendly ways of producing energy could not be a point of reference for it. Therefore, the use of Renewable Energy Sources for the energy needs of greenhouses is imperative, with the installation of photovoltaics on the roof of each unit being presented as a very good solution. At the same time, with the demand for land increasing, creating both spatial and economic issues (an increase of land rents), the use of photovoltaics incorporated in a greenhouse to replace the existing cover, leads to double use of the land, with a specific area being used simultaneously for the production of food products and energy. In terms of photovoltaics, a semitransparent photovoltaic glass, in contrast to the traditional opaque photovoltaics, combines energy production with the natural lighting of the greenhouse space. The ability of these photovoltaics to allow wavelengths in the visible spectrum (Photosynthetically Active Radiation – PAR) to enter the greenhouse space, presents huge benefits for the growth of plants as this area of radiation is used during the biological process of photosynthesis. On the contrary, less permeability over long wavelengths (IR) prevents solar heat, keeping the requirements for cooling the greenhouse at low levels.

Biography:

Angeliki Kavga is Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural Science, of University of Patras, on «Greenhouse Construction and Operation» field. She has ΜSc in Environmental Studies and PhD in Agricultural Engineering from University of Patras on "Energy Optimization of Greenhouse Using a Heating System with Infrared Radiation (IR). Her research interests focus on Greenhouse Constructions, Renewable energy sources, Precision Agriculture, Smart Farming and Environmental Physics. She has presented remarkable research work in her scientific field with 30 published scientific papers in international journals, one book chapter and more than 35 entries in International Scientific Conferences. She is Project Manager (PM) in one research program (Erasmus +k2), Scientific Manager in 3 research programs and member of the research team in 2 research programs.

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