Indian researchers developed a new system for growing crops in remote areas without a connection to the electricity grid. It consists of a PV panel, add-on module hardware (AOMH), battery, DC-DC converters, system power devices, automation and sensor elements. For air conditioning, it also includes a water pump, a fan for carbon dioxide absorption, sprinkler nozzles and drip irrigation solenoids.
“Our solution could be used in all geographies, although it is specifically designed for low-income people,” said Anuradha Tomar, lead author of the study. pv magazine. “It can help bridge the gap in low-budget farming applications as one integrated package that enables the simultaneous triple use of land for improving food, improving solar energy production, and managing agriculture with limited water availability.”
In the magazine “Sustainable solar power-based protective environmentally controlled farming technology as an agricultural economy enhancer, was published Smart agricultural technologythe researchers said that a key feature of the proposed system is microclimate control, which is achieved by taking into account several environmental parameters such as temperature, humidity, photosynthesis, CO.2humidity level, ventilation, watering and fertilization.
The system prototype measures 2400 mm × 1700 mm × 2365 mm, can accommodate 24-28 plants and has a total volume of 5.57 m3.
It consists of a housing, which the researchers called an add-on module hardware (AOMH), solar panel, battery, DC-DC converters, system power devices, automation and sensor elements. For air conditioning, it also includes a water pump, ventilation fan for CO2 assimilation, sprinkler nozzles and drip irrigation solenoids. The PV panel has a glass plate as a refractor and reflector. It provides power for low heat recovery, temperature regulation and energy production.
“To ensure silicon photosynthesis in short-wave color range radiation (wavelength 400–700 nm), solar energy generation (700 nm–1 mm), net thermal energy (sum of irradiated, refracted, conductive and conductive) inside the PV_PECF and outgoing long-wave radiation; the energy from the soil/plants should always be dynamically adjusted according to crop requirements,” the researchers explained.
The adjustment is implemented with the monitoring index of the energy balance state (E2SMI) based model that is said to launch the appropriate load at the optimal launch point. “It makes an adequate attempt to counteract the effect of external non-linear weather variations,” they emphasized. “It supports sufficient energy savings in the internal climate control process and thus increases the return on investment (ROI).”
The Indian team validated this system configuration for one complete cropping period of tomato crop and compared these results with those of a reference period in open cultivation. “The leaf area index (LAI) is found to be 1.44-1.58 times higher than that of the open field, and the ROI has increased by 9.24 percent,” it further explained. “The MPPT-integrated AOMH could provide an average additional energy gain of 10.32 percent compared to the one without the AOMH module.”
The researchers concluded that ROI can be further improved in relatively larger systems. “The reference parameters/values considered in the presented work are baseline values, so they need to be fine-tuned based on crop yield and experience in the near future,” they noted.