Solyndra has developed a new solar application for agricultural greenhouse and shade structures that takes advantage of light being able to pass through Solyndra’s proven tubular thin-film PV panel design. Research CeRSAA in Italy and the Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, have confirmed the improved nature of the panel design and its ability to support crop growth underneath while generating electricity.
Combining solar modules into agricultural-sized greenhouses can be a significant design/engineering challenge due to low-bearing structures and greater restriction of direct sunlight.
Greenhouse manufacturers can easily integrate Solyndra panels onto the roof of a greenhouse or shade structure. Complete coverage with the 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, according to the company. The cylindrical design of the modules enables them to capture sunlight and generate electricity from direct, diffuse, and reflected light. Growers with 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.
CIGS cylindrical thin-film modules. Certifications/Listings: UL1703, IEC 61646, IEC 61730,CE Mark, CEC listing, Protection Class II Application Class A per IEC 61730-2, Fire Class C, MCS/BRE(UK). Warranty: 25-year limited power warranty, 5-year limited product warranty.