A new solar panel technology for greenhouses called Wavelength-Selective Photovoltaic Systems (WSPVs) allows plants to grow better while generating electricity more efficiently, at less cost than with traditional photovoltaic systems. The author of this innovation is a UC Santa Cruz spinoff called Soliculture.
A bright magenta luminescent dye is embedded into the glass of the window. It absorbs the blue and green wavelengths of light while allowing for the red light, used by plants, to reach them. The energy of the blue and green spectrum of light absorbed is transferred to the photovoltaic strips, where electricity is generated. It is used to support the greenhouse – greenhouse’s fans, heaters, watering systems, etc. enabling it to operate completely off-grid.
The team conducted a study comparing produce grown under transparent glass panels to the same type of produce grown under magenta panels. The results showed that there was no difference in 80% of the vegetables and 20% even grew better. In addition, plants grown under the magenta solar panels were found to use 5% less water.
View Slideshow Could a new rose-colored glass change the world of greenhouse design? A UC Santa Cruz spinoff called Soliculture has discovered that covering greenhouses in magenta solar panels allows plants to grow better while generating electricity more efficiently and at less cost than with traditional photovoltaic systems. The pinkish panels are a new technology called Wavelength-Selective Photovoltaic Systems (WSPVs).