PVT Clean Energy has been selected for the 2023 SBIR Phase I award from the USDA NIFA

The PVT team has been selected to work with the US Department of Agriculture on a solar-geothermal greenhouse as part of the long-term plan for use of renewable energy sources for plant production.

This project studies a proposed greenhouse that utilizes solar panels coupled with geothermal energy for the dual synergetic benefits of: 1) improved energy harvesting and management toward zero-net-energy agriculture, 2) controlled environmental agriculture (CEA) with light, temperature, and moisture for improved plant production. The advanced building integrated photovoltaic-thermal (BIPVT) panels with partial transparent solar cell coverage are installed on the south-facing roof of a solar greenhouse to generate photovoltaic (PV) electricity and collect heat; the electricity can be stored in a battery array for electricity backup and directly used for extended LED light for crop growth; a passive bi-directional geothermal heat exchange system stores heat in summer and release in winter by a smart thermal management system and; the sensing and control system will monitor energy usage and distribution for smart operation. The advanced greenhouse proposed in this project not only results in low-cost and sustainable plant production with improved quality but also contributes to the path toward zero-emission agriculture.

Link: https://portal.nifa.usda.gov/web/crisprojectpages/1030451-thermal-management-and-energy-harvesting-in-a-solar-geothermal-greenhouse-for-improved-plant-production.html

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