Sunlight is prime for crop yields. So, what if there was a way to use farmlands to meet the world’s energy needs. An Oregon State University study claims that converting 1% farmlands into solar panels can meet the global energy need. Further, this new concept of co-developing farmlands agriculture and generating photovoltaic power is agrivoltiacs.
Chad Higgins believes that the results show great potential for agriculture and solar power to work together and generate long-lasting energy. He is an associate professor at Oregon State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences. Further, he believes that the old saying of ‘agriculture can overproduce anything’ is true generating electricity as well. As a result, the findings may have huge implications on the prevailing practice of generating solar power from deserts.
Collaboration with Tesla Solar Electric Arrays was Key for Research
According to Higgins, solar panels can act very finicky. The efficiency of these solar panels drops the hotter they get. As the barren lands are hotter, the productivity of these panels is comparatively lower.
For this research, the analysts and scientists from Oregon State University studied the data of power production accumulated by Tesla. It has installed five huge ground-mounted, grid-tied solar electric arrays on the farmlands owned by Oregon State. The research team specifically studied the data every 15 minutes at the Solar Array installed on the 35th Street of the west side of the Corvallis campus in the Oregon State University.
The research team then synced the data gathered from Tesla with the data gathered from the microclimate research bases. These bases had data on relative humidity, wind direction, incoming solar energy, and mean air temperature. The results showed that when the outside temperature is cool, the efficiency of these panels is higher.