Researchers have discovered that growing crops at solar farms can improve the efficiency of the solar panels. The study was conducted by scientists at the University of Arizona and was published in the journal “Nature Sustainability”.
According to the researchers, when crops are grown around the solar panels, they create a cooler microclimate that helps to reduce the temperature of the solar panels. This, in turn, improves the efficiency of the solar panels, as they perform better at cooler temperatures.
The researchers also found that growing crops at solar farms can provide additional benefits such as reducing water usage and increasing food production. This makes solar farms not only a source of clean energy but also a potential source of sustainable agriculture.
The study analyzed data from three solar farms in Arizona, where crops such as lettuce, tomatoes, and peppers were grown between the solar panels. The results showed that the shade from the crops reduced the temperature of the panels by as much as 10 degrees Celsius, leading to an increase in panel efficiency of up to 3%.
The researchers believe that this finding could have significant implications for the future of solar energy. As solar farms continue to expand, integrating sustainable agriculture could lead to a more efficient and sustainable energy system.
Overall, the study suggests that combining solar energy with sustainable agriculture could be a win-win situation, providing both clean energy and food production in a sustainable way.