Your roof garden can be a solar-powered work farm


Long area Cats, weather vans and occasionally flutes, the roof being thickened with solar panels. The roof of a house or business is an ideal place to place them because they are less obstructed by sunlight and the roofs are usually unused space – adding panels to existing structures is better for the environment than clearing new land for a solar farm.

But even panel-roofed roofs may not be as well used as they used to be. A new scientific field known as roof agrivoltaics asks: if we Also Has the crop grown under them? These will not be ordinary green roofs, which are usually small gardens, but work farms. Panels will provide shade for trees আসলে actually increase their yield-as well as for buildings, while simultaneously reducing cooling costs and creating clean energy for the structure. The urban population is projected to more than double by 2050. As people move to the metropolis, rooftop agriculturists can feed people and make city life more bearable.

A roof is actually a fairly challenging place for plants to grow. There, a plant is exposed to incessant bombardment from gusty winds and sunlight because there are no trees nearby to provide shelter. (Accordingly, hardy succulents are the preferred plants for green roofs.) Yes, plants need light, but not so much. Jennifer Bosselt, a horticulturist at Colorado State University, said, “Plants we call photorespiration mode, where it can effectively synthesize photosynthesis for those who are extremely bright and sunny.” “They start trying to take in oxygen instead of carbon dioxide and break it down and so they waste energy.”

Photo: Thomas Hickey

Conversely, think about how a forest works: except for the tallest tree, all the plants are getting some shade. For the trees closest to the forest floor, the light spreads, jumping to the surface around them. The tall trees around them also make them less exposed to changes in wind and temperature if they grow in the open.

The idea of ​​agrivoltaics is to mimic this forest environment for crops. In Colorado, scientists are experimenting with terrestrial agrivoltaic gardens and finding that the trees continue to grow in the shade. This is probably a physiological response requiring more light absorption, and this is great for leafy crops like lettuce because it increases their yield. Pepper plants also yield three times more agrivolitic than full sun. As a bonus, shady plants need about half the water otherwise because there is less sunlight to evaporate.

The same idea will work on a roof: solar panels will provide shade which makes the plants happier and less thirsty. Beneath the roof panel, Busselt found, it is cooler in summer and warmer in winter, and the panels act as windbreaks. Plants do not have to be food grains to benefit the surrounding landscape যোগ for example, adding native plants to the roof agrivoltaics will provide flowers for local pollinators. Scientists are also playing with the design of semi-transparent solar panels, which would theoretically work better for species that require less sunlight in the open than outside, but not in full shade.



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