PV Greenhouse Construction 1

Advantages and Considerations for PV Greenhouse Construction

With the emergence of “PV+”, agriculture has regained vitality in rural areas, allowing farmers to gain multiple benefits, improve their quality of life, and raise their living standards. This is the original intention behind the construction of photovoltaic vegetable greenhouses in many places. What are the advantages of photovoltaic vegetable greenhouses in rural areas? What should be considered during construction?

Photovoltaic vegetable greenhouses involve installing thin film solar panels on the top of regular vegetable greenhouses, utilizing solar energy to divide sunlight into the energy needed for plants and the energy for electricity generation. This setup not only meets the needs of plant growth but also achieves photovoltaic conversion. Photovoltaic agricultural greenhouses can both generate electricity and grow vegetables, making them multifunctional.

Photovoltaic agricultural greenhouses represent a new model of photovoltaic application, integrating solar photovoltaic power generation, intelligent temperature control systems, and modern high-tech cultivation into greenhouse structures. These greenhouses utilize steel frames covered with solar photovoltaic modules, ensuring both electricity generation and the lighting requirements for crop cultivation. The electricity generated by photovoltaic greenhouse power stations can support irrigation systems, provide supplementary lighting for plants, address winter heating needs in greenhouses, and promote rapid crop growth.

PV Greenhouse Construction 2

Advantages of Photovoltaic Vegetable Greenhouses:

1.Installation of PV components on the top of enclosed agricultural greenhouses represents the closest integration of agriculture with photovoltaics.

    Advantages:

    1) Conservation of land resources, resolving conflicts between photovoltaic power generation and agriculture over land use.

    2) Efficient land utilization, reducing land wastage. Compared to single-roofed daylight greenhouses, this form of greenhouse has relatively larger indoor space, enhancing land utilization efficiency and overcoming waste caused by spacing between single greenhouses.

    3) Greenhouses can adopt large-span steel structures according to agricultural needs, providing ample space for mechanized operations and even forming sightseeing photovoltaic agriculture.

    4) Increased automation in agriculture, with accompanying facilities such as internal shading and insulation systems, heating systems, ventilation and cooling systems, intelligent humidity control systems, and drip irrigation systems, creating automated greenhouse agriculture.

    5) Reduction in manual labor, lowering labor costs.

    PV Greenhouse Construction 3

    2.PV components are not directly installed on the greenhouse but are separately mounted on supports behind or in the middle of the greenhouse.

      Advantages:

      1) Photovoltaics and agricultural greenhouse structures are relatively independent, with minimal mutual interference between PV components and crops, reducing shading issues.

      2) Simplified construction and installation, with independent design for greenhouses and PV supports, facilitating installation and dismantling.

      3) Lower construction costs with less steel usage and simpler structures.

      4) Good lighting and insulation performance, as these greenhouses are enclosed, offering certain insulation properties and evident energy-saving effects compared to open greenhouses.

      5) Open greenhouses:

        3.Characterized by high PV supports with PV modules installed on top and crops grown below, open greenhouses represent a controversial form of PV-agriculture integration.

        Advantages:

        1) Occupy only a small portion of agricultural land (support foundations), compared to ground-based PV systems, avoiding the need for large-scale land acquisition, allowing crops to be grown underneath and saving land resources.

        2) Lower construction costs compared to the previous two types of greenhouses.

        3) Agricultural mechanization can still be met underground, reducing manual labor and saving labor costs.

        4) Simplified construction and installation, with quick construction speed and short construction cycles.

        PV Greenhouse Construction 4

          Considerations for Photovoltaic Vegetable Greenhouse Construction:

          1) Consider the light preferences of plants. Before construction, it’s advisable to have agricultural experts conduct on-site inspections and professional analyses to determine if the crops are suitable for cultivation.

          2) Financial investment. The construction cost of photovoltaic power stations is relatively high, requiring advance estimation of the investment payback period. Factors such as steel usage, greenhouse temperature, humidity, and electricity generation should be considered after technical and economic analyses to determine if the investment is worthwhile.

          3) Anticipate the impact of crops on the photovoltaic station. Consider adverse effects such as corrosion on steel structures caused by crops, high humidity environments in the greenhouse affecting PV components, junction boxes, cables, bridges, and combiner boxes.

          4) Consider the radiation intensity of the photovoltaic array during the design phase. The optimal design angle for the photovoltaic array should be between 0° and the local latitude, considering the light preferences of crops. For shade-loving plants, commonly available monocrystalline or polycrystalline modules can be used, while transparent modules can be considered for sun-loving plants to ensure proper radiation absorption. Simultaneously, the greenhouse structure should be adequately integrated with photovoltaic facilities, considering the load-bearing capacity of the roof, wind resistance, earthquake resistance, and avoiding secondary construction to increase project costs.

          5) In addition to the above considerations, equipment selection such as inverters, modules, supports, and related accessories should prioritize reputable brands to avoid compromising income and risking safety due to the use of low-quality, inexpensive equipment.

            Conclusion: There are still many factors to consider, far beyond these, such as post-construction operation and maintenance of power stations, economic benefits of crops, and sales channels. Only by fully considering these factors can photovoltaic vegetable greenhouses truly bring vitality to agriculture and economic benefits to farmers.

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