Vertical solar panels can help farmers harness the power of the sun into growing the best crop but also converting the sun’s power into electrical energy.
1. Vertical solar panels
Solar panels are large modules which tend to take a lot of useful space, especially in food-producing lands. With the innovative vertical solar panels, dubbed Sunzaun, the California-based company Sunstall is offering alternative solutions which can be used in existing fields and arable lands without sacrificing them for clean green energy. Sunzuan’s vertical system with 43 panels is currently installed at a winery in California and produces 23kW of power.
Installing vertical panels is usually more costly compared to regular solar panels. However, Sunzuan’s vertical solar panels break this norm by making it simpler to install them since no elevated platforms need to be built. The vertical panels can be lined up wherever it is convenient to place them and can even be installed with a slope of up to 15 degrees.
This is just the beginning to understand the interaction between vertical solar, crop yield, land utilization and financial benefits for farmers. Yield also depends on location, design of solar systems and many details.Sunstall
2. Bifacial modules
Installing vertical solar panels doesn’t come with great hassle, as the process is very similar to the conventional solar systems. The difference, however, is that this system combines the new invention of bifacial solar modules and the entire array stands like a boundary wall in the field. Installing these modules in an east-west configuration can produce the same amount of electricity as a south-facing solar panel, according to recent studies.
Indeed, researchers at Leipzig University of Applied Sciences claim that mounting bifacial solar panels with one side facing east and the other facing west would produce more renewable electricity and reduce one of the side effects of traditional solar energy farms — an abundance of electricity at midday and not enough in the morning or afternoon.
The Sunzaun is designed to accommodate framed and unframed bifacial panels and to manage the wires in a safe and sound way.Sunzaun
“Bifacial solar panels can use solar energy from both sides. Installed in an east-west orientation, most electricity is generated in the mornings and evenings. This would reduce the need for electricity storage and at the same time keep the space required for electricity generation low,” said Sophia Reker of the Leipzig University of Applied Sciences and first author of the study.
Despite the great promises for farmers and agriculture, the vertical solar panel design isn’t restricted to agricultural fields — it can be lined up along the length of highways, railroads, fences, or even balconies in residential areas. The panels have been tested and successfully endured winds up to 0.084 psi and are currently in the process of obtaining their UL2703 certification, which assures the safety performance of the modules and the system.