Solyndra Agricultural Solar Products
The rapidly expanding use of agricultural shelter structures in warm climates offers an exciting opportunity for greenhouse and shade structure rooftops to generate clean energy from the sun while optimizing plant growth. Greenhouses topped with Solyndra panels allow more light through than a traditional flat panel application and benefit from the light weight of the panels.
Benefits of Solyndra Greenhouse Applications
- Uniform overhead shading and lighting at crop surface
- Rapid installation, light construction
- Configurable, seasonal shading with addition of reflective cloth
- Quality construction, 20+ year life
Benefits of Agricultural Solar
- Dual land use
- Additional revenue stream for farmers
- Distributed power
- Tax incentives
- Reduced electricity bills
A Unique Application for Agricultural Greenhouses
Solyndra offers a solar application for agricultural greenhouse and shade structures that takes advantage of the ability of light to pass through Solyndra’s proven solar panel design. Installation of Solyndra’s unique solar panels on agricultural structures allows for dual use of land, and reliably supports existing agricultural practices, while generating considerable electricity. The Solyndra solution enhances plant growth by controlling shading and provides growers with an additional income stream and power for their operations. Research by renowned agricultural establishments, such as CeRSAA in Italy and the Department of Plant Sciences, University of California Davis, USA, has confirmed the superior nature of the panel design and their 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 the process known as 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 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 also be used, since air circulation is important for plant health.
“This product, which supports plant growth and provides both shade and a distributed power source is the best idea I have seen for what could ultimately be the ideal application of solar power – dual purpose agricultural-land use,” says Dr. Giovanni Minuto of CERSAA, a research center in Albenga, Italy, who has been evaluating the Solyndra system over the past year with a variety of plant types and under various weather conditions.
Test sites at prestigious agricultural research establishments like CeRSAA and the Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, have demonstrated that plants, such as nursery crops and ornamental flowers grow well in the partial shading provided by Solyndra systems.
While the use of Solyndra panels on agricultural greenhouses is relatively new, Solyndra solar panel technology has been proven in installations on more than 1000 commercial and industrial rooftops around the world. Panels come with mounting solutions and cable management systems, which are then integrated into greenhouse structures by leading manufacturers in Italy. Currently, multiple megawatts of agricultural installations are underway. Solyndra also offers a solution for the rooftops of large, flat agricultural warehouses and distribution centers.
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.