Fruit and Vegetables

Photovoltaic greenhouses

What is a photovoltaic greenhouse

It is the egg of Columbus, we could sentence. A covering structure where it is possible to set up an agricultural production, for example strawberry cultivation; but also a nursery for plant nurseries, or production of seedlings for vegetables. However, this greenhouse will not cost us anything, it will produce income. Such as? Generating electricity that will satisfy our needs, but not only, where the energy produced will be in excess on our consumption, will be sold creating a parallel business. The surface used for our crops doubles, below produces strawberries and above energy. Beautiful, is not it? Yes, beautiful and feasible. With this system it is possible to recover hectares of surfaces that can be transformed into real clean energy plants. They will repair crops from the elements and produce income and everything without the slightest environmental impact.

How it is structured

The supporting structure is fixed. Stuck to the ground with special anchors. It cannot be considered a building as it has no foundation whatsoever. The materials that can be used for the skeleton of the greenhouse are different; from wood to aluminum, from iron to masonry. Obviously the walls are in glass or transparent materials. The cover is the focal point: solar panels. These structures are protected environments, which can be air-conditioned and can be humidified as desired. The supporting structure obviously varies according to the need. Even small garden structures can be used for this purpose. A small greenhouse will produce energy for the home water heater, a large greenhouse will produce energy for the entire farm and produce income by selling the surplus. It is good to keep in mind that photovoltaic greenhouses are not classified as buildings, so the roof is not stacked like: photovoltaic panels on the building.

The regulations

Even the regulations on photovoltaic greenhouses are adapting. This phenomenon, so expanding, has forced the competent bodies to keep up. We see that the definition of the greenhouse is the current legislation: it is an element in which the photovoltaic panels are a fundamental element of the roof. This point is important because it states that the panels are not a false part of the structure, but are part of the structure itself. This determines a different classification at the cadastral level. The legislation continues, specifying that: the photovoltaic greenhouse must not be a "removable" element but at the same time must be well fixed to the ground. This is why it cannot be classified as a building, with all the advantages of the case. Last interesting point: the photovoltaic panels must not exceed 50% of the total surface of the roof. Here the regulator wanted to ensure that the greenhouse always has good light penetration.

Photovoltaic greenhouses: integrated home automation

Having no more constraints in terms of energy costs, we can give space to the use of home automation applied to our photovoltaic greenhouse. We have already seen that we will not have any cost, apart from the initial investment, regarding the heating / cooling and climate control of the greenhouse. We can have a fully computerized greenhouse, with irrigation systems managed by your smartphone. Sensors that notify by email of a drop in humidity or an increase in heat. The walls that change opacity according to the time of day. But not only that, you can light up access to the greenhouse with street lamps powered by self-produced energy. In short, photovoltaic greenhouses are already in the future. They are clean, self-financed and also generate income. A final figure, the estimate of energy production in a year of a photovoltaic greenhouse is about 500 square meters: 39,000 kwh / a. Not bad right?