In modern agricultural production, both large- and small-scale operations that serve families typically use the greenhouse system. Although they offer a reliable source of agricultural products, greenhouse use has always been a contentious topic due to its effects on the environment. But for now, solar power greenhouses are increasingly prevalent, promising an improvement in sustainable agricultural technology.
The agricultural industry is adapting to new energy technology
The global agricultural industry is changing day by day to meet the increasing food demand of people. Therefore, the application of new technologies and innovations in agricultural production is very important. Among the newly applied technologies that stand out is the Solar Power Greenhouse.
The greenhouse is no longer an unfamiliar modern agricultural production method. However, Solar Power Greenhouse is the new generation of technology with more advanced features, promising high productivity and environmental protection. Let’s get to know more about this innovation together with Wapolabs!
What is solar power?
Solar power can be defined as the conversion of energy obtained from the sun into electricity for production and human activities. Solar power is an infinite, renewable energy source that protects the environment and saves costs for users.
The working mechanism of solar power is based on the photoelectric effect. Solar panels installed on the roof or in
a sunny area will absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity. The systems used will then fully charge the batteries and supply the electricity for consumption.
Solar power greenhouses – future of agriculture
Solar power greenhouses are greenhouse models using solar panels to provide electricity for the daily operation itself. In the current context, the solar energy greenhouse model is more and more popular and prioritized for development.
The solar power greenhouses model demonstrates its superiority when it can operate normally while consuming less energy than the traditional models and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
How solar power greenhouses work
Since plants inside the greenhouse need sunlight for photosynthesizing, the design of a solar greenhouse will only use a small part of the roof to install transparent solar panels or solar cells. The panels will absorb radiation from sunlight and convert it into electricity to power the operation of the greenhouse.
The solar power greenhouse contains large glass panels placed on the east and south sides of the greenhouse, and stone blocks to absorb and retain heat on the north side. Though working on the same principle as the traditional greenhouse, a solar power greenhouse will concentrate on making the best use of the energy from sunlight.
How are solar power greenhouses different from traditional greenhouses
It is obvious that all greenhouses use sunlight as a source of energy to generate the ideal atmosphere and climate for plants to flourish. However, solar-powered greenhouses use electricity from solar panels rather than conventional greenhouses, which rely on fuels like gas and thermal energy to light and heat the building.
Solar greenhouses and conventional greenhouses differ from one another in that the former requires less artificial energy and it can store more energy for later use. Because solar power greenhouses typically produce more electricity than they consume from the sun, they can also be used to power other spaces.
Benefits of solar power greenhouses
In comparison with traditional greenhouses, greenhouses using solar energy have more advantages and potential for growth in the future. This greenhouse system ensures the sustainable development of agriculture, solves the cost problem, and also creates the aesthetics of the greenhouses.
While there are many benefits of the model, Wapolabs would like to summarize and give an analysis of their most notable ones in this article, especially for the one who are considering building a solar-powered greenhouse.
Saving money on the electric bill
Solar power systems operate on renewable and free energy – sunlight. Abundant energy is provided at no cost, which will help you reduce your electricity costs. This self-sufficient model saves you money but still keeps your greenhouse warm in winter or lights it up to ensure healthy plants at the same time.
In addition, a solar power greenhouse can produce much more electricity than is needed to keep the greenhouse itself running. The remaining energy can be the residual energy for daily activities in other areas of the farm or household.
Easy to install solar panels
Solar panels are popular for their compactness and ease of installation. This system does not require complicated, inconvenient, and potentially dangerous electrical wiring connection equipment for users in the greenhouse.
Furthermore, installation and adjustment don’t take too long, and there’s no need to modify the electrical system’s architecture.
Solar power is eco-friendly
Solar power uses an infinite, renewable energy source – solar energy. Therefore, it reduces emissions during production and uses processes like other types of electrical energy such as electricity, gas, etc.
Solar power greenhouse also cuts down on complicated equipment and wiring. Also, solar panels installed have a fairly long lifespan and are recyclable. Waste is minimized and reduced to the least amount that can be released into the environment.
Solar panels can last a very long time
The lifespan of solar panels is very lengthy. Generally, wholesalers promise that your solar panels will retain up to 90% of their efficiency after 25 years. With a degradation rate of only 0.5 to 0.8% per year, depending on the environmental condition, solar panels can therefore continue to be used for many more years at an efficiency rate of 75 to 80%.
Although solar panels cannot be recovered for immediate use, they can also undergo the process of crushing and separating substances to make materials for new energy panels, thereby saving money for the government and protecting the environment.
Types of solar power greenhouses
There are many types of solar power greenhouses with different designs and characteristics. Wabpolabs will help you distinguish different types of solar power greenhouses and weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each one to make the right choice.
Active solar power greenhouses system
An active solar power greenhouses system operates by generating electricity by using solar panels to absorb energy and then using this energy to perform agricultural activities.
This system is called “active” because, in the heat transfer process, the system uses fans, heaters, or pumps to circulate energy where needed. This type of system is widely used among solar greenhouses.
Advantages of active solar power greenhouses system
Because the system is active, heat sources are always generated and circulated to where they are needed, so an active solar power greenhouses system is very effective in providing energy to the plants. There will always be energy available to keep the greenhouse operating continuously.
Besides, the equipment required is not too complicated, therefore this model can be installed and used with any type of greenhouse. Active solar power greenhouses systems will be especially useful for growing plants that need a lot of light and for regions with cold climates or extreme weather.
Disadvantages of active solar power greenhouses system
Although the installation process is not too complicated, building an active solar system requires a lot of specialized equipment such as solar panels and other types of heating equipment. When building the system, active solar power greenhouses models could result in significant costs.
Additionally, the equipment’s durability won’t be very long because the machinery works with high intensity. You will need to maintain the machine more frequently than other varieties to make sure the system is constantly functioning effectively.
Passive solar power greenhouses system
Up to their name, a passive solar power greenhouse system doesn’t require any electrical or mechanical devices to obtain heat. In this system, the greenhouse has huge glass or plastic windows to absorb as much sunlight as possible. Then, those windows will be covered fully at night to retain the warmness.
The largest difference between passive sol
ar power greenhouses system and the active system is that it uses thermal mass – a part of the greenhouse to store heat and act as “inertia” against temperature changes – to retain the heat as long as possible and release it slowly.
Advantages of passive solar power greenhouses system
Obviously, this system is extremely economical because you will not have to pay any costs for complicated equipment installation or annual maintenance. You just need to install the windows and their cost is much cheaper than building a mechanical system.
Similar to the active system, the passive solar power greenhouses system can also be applied to any greenhouse and with any investment expenditure. Design and installation work will also be simplified.
Disadvantages of passive solar power greenhouses system
For countries with very cold climates, the use of passive solar power greenhouses system proved to be less effective. The heat source will not be able to be stored for a long time and easily cause a shortage of energy for the greenhouse’s activities.
Mixed solar power greenhouses system
Mixed solar power greenhouses are the option that combines the best features of other systems. The system uses not only solar panels with heating devices but also thermal mass methods to generate heat so it is considered the most effective and efficient heating system for solar-powered greenhouses.
Advantages of mixed solar power greenhouses system
Mixed solar power greenhouse system can be utilized in any type of greenhouse because it combines the features of the two systems. This system can be adjusted to different climates, in areas with different hours of sunshine, and still ensures normal operation.
Using this system will also result in greater efficiency than using only one of the two heat circulation methods. The system helps the heat source to spread evenly throughout the greenhouse growing area, and also stores the heat source for use at night or when energy is needed to adjust the climate in the greenhouse.
Disadvantages of mixed solar power greenhouses system
The combination of many devices and the design makes mixed solar power systems need more frequent maintenance than active and passive systems which takes a lot of time and costs.
A large space of the greenhouse area, therefore, must also be set aside to install equipment for the operation of this system. Therefore, despite having the best effect, we can hardly apply this model to small areas.
Currently, this model is being increasingly developed and improved by specialists in the agriculture industry. Solar power greenhouse promises to become even more popular and widely applied not only on farms but also in households.
Through the above article, Wapolabs would like to emphasize that solar power greenhouses are one of the representatives of the new generation of agricultural technologies in the future. The advantages of solar power greenhouse are not only in terms of cost and performance but also the positive impact on the environment.