Until now, acreage was designated for either photovoltaics or photosynthesis, that is, to generate electricity or grow crops. An agrophotovoltaics (APV) pilot project near Lake Constance, however, has now demonstrated that both uses are compatible. Dual use of land is resource efficient, reduces competition for land and additionally opens up a new source of income for farmers. For one year, the largest APV system in Germany is being tested on the Demeter farm cooperative Heggelbach. In the demonstration project “Agrophotovoltaic – Resource Efficient Land Use” (APV-Resola)” led by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, solar modules for electricity production are installed directly above crops covering an area of one third hectare. Now the first solar harvest of power and produce has been collected on both levels.
Fraunhofer 23rd Nov 2017 read more »
Puerto Rico is slowly rebuilding its electrical grid and the generating stations damaged by hurricane Maria, but for some residents the sun holds the best promise of restoring light. And a hospital parking lot in San Juan covered in hundreds of solar panels has become a test area. “There are a little bit under 800 solar panels,” says Juliana Canino, who runs the Hospital del Niño. The nonprofit hospital is the only rehabilitation facility for children in Puerto Rico. It’s involved in one of the first alternative-energy experiments of its kind on the island, an agreement between the government and Tesla, the company best-known for electric cars. The hospital’s microgrid is an alternative to the regular public grid. Microgrids are self-contained power systems with enough capacity to run a small neighbourhood or a large facility.
CBC 24th Nov 2017 read more »