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The influence of greenhouse-integrated photovoltaics on crop production
Photovoltaics (PVs) have been particularly successful in many domestic and industrial settings where opaque PV-covered roofs provide renewable electricity. Modern farming, for an ever growing population, employs vast areas of greenhouses consuming considerable amounts of energy. The majority of greenhouses are not suited to coverage by opaque PVs. Herein, we describe the current-state-of-the-art in greenhouse-integrated opaque PVs and their limitations, particularly with respect to the compatibility with certain plant cultivars. We propose semi-transparent PVs (Dye-Sensitized solar Cells, DSCs) as alternative greenhouse glazing that, compared to conventional greenhouse glazing and currently marketed greenhouse integrated opaque PV materials, offers advantages including enhanced thermal stabilisation and similar or improved edible biomass yields. Large-scale-validation of DSCs in solar sharing for crop production (yield, appearance and nutritional content) is now in progress.
Photovoltaics, Dye-sensitized solar cells, Agriculture, Greenhouse-integrated photovoltaics, Photobiomodulation
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