As the world’s population rises, so does the demand for food, driving up the agricultural sector’s energy needs.
The requirement to run pumps, generators, motors, tillers, and other agricultural machinery, in addition to meeting this demand, underscores the importance of finding alternatives to fossil fuels & conventional energy.
Regarding embracing change and using emerging technologies, agriculture has proven to be one of the most exciting and dynamic sectors.
The United States, Australia, and China are just a few countries that have begun encouraging renewable energy sources for various agricultural purposes.
Although the widespread use of solar energy is just starting, the technology behind it has made significant strides in recent years, making it a viable and attractive option for many agricultural power needs.
In this post, we will acknowledge everything regarding solar farms in agriculture.
What is A Solar Farm?
Large-scale solar installations, or “solar farms,” harness solar energy by photovoltaic (PV) panels (also known as “solar panels”) or other methods such as concentrating solar systems.
They differ significantly from residential solar panels and commercial solar power installations.
Multiple names, all referring to the same thing: solar farms.
The power plants function similarly to those that have used natural gas or other fuels for decades to supply homes with electricity.
In contrast to centralized systems used in homes and businesses, these distributed systems use solar panels set on the ground across wide areas.
Solar farms often contribute to a utility’s energy mix rather than directly serving an end-user like a home or company.
Types Of Solar Farms
Utility-scale solar refers to solar power on a massive scale, often greater than 1 MW or 4 MWAC. A large enough photovoltaic power plant to be called a utility.
Power from concentrated solar radiation, as opposed to the less powerful systems typically installed on homes’ roofs.
Since 2012, the utility-scale solar sector has led the U.S. solar market in terms of installed capacity. More and more batteries are being placed near one another.
By 2021, the output voltage will have increased to a full kilovolt. Sometimes agrovoltaics are involved.
Community solar farms sometimes known as “small-scale solar farms” generate about 5 MW of electricity for a nearby neighborhood’s homes and businesses. Everyone who signs up for the program has an equal say in how it’s run.
A reduction in the residents’ electricity bills may result from their participation in this solar project, the size of which depends on the number of residents or the amount of production.
Is A Solar Farm Considered An Agriculture?
The lack of irrigation, motors, and climate control advancement has made agriculture a major electricity consumer.
Solar energy has the potential to revolutionize the agricultural industry by providing numerous benefits, such as the conservation of valuable water resources, the reduction of reliance on the grid, the reduction of long-term power costs, and the creation of new revenue streams.
Using solar energy could be a game-changer for the agricultural industry because of its many benefits, such as water conservation, the reduction of reliance on the power grid, the reduction of long-term power costs, and the creation of new revenue streams.
Although the use of solar energy in agriculture has been common practice since the dawn of civilization, there has recently been a spike in interest in expanding the use of solar power to serve various purposes.
Agricultural Applications In Solar Farm
Scientists found that a whopping 60% improves agricultural land’s yield using solar farm techniques.
The agrophotovoltaic system works well for the farm and only adds a little more to the budget than a modest solar roof installation would.
The yields are high enough that they can be sold for a profit. Following are the applications of a solar farm.
1. Solar Energy Powered Water Pump
Solar water pumps are a lifesaver in areas with spotty or no access to the electrical grid. Farmers may save time using solar pumps to transport water from storage facilities and canals to their fields.
Solar panels collect sunlight and inverters convert the resulting direct current (DC) into electricity that may be fed into the grid and stored in batteries. Those pumps that need electricity to operate will get it efficiently.
2. Water and Space Heating
Space & water heating needs for livestock and dairy businesses vary yearly. Every day of the year, this is controlled by solar energy.
Cattle farming typically occurs in enclosed facilities, making environmental control of temperature and humidity essential to successful operations.
Farmers can reduce monthly electric expenditures by switching to a solar-powered heating system. Powering the temperature control devices as needed, these setups rely on solar panels to provide the necessary energy.
3. Crops and Grains Drying
One of the earliest uses of solar energy was by farmers to dry their crops and grains.
This strategy is simple to implement and doesn’t cost anything, but it could expose your crops to harmful elements like wind and rodents and contaminants like dirt and dust.
With today’s technology, solar dryers can concentrate the sun’s rays in a sealed container, making it ideal for drying food on trays. Time and effort can be cut in half with the help of these systems.
4. Greenhouse Heating
Some plants and crops can only be grown successfully by using greenhouse heating. Most commercial greenhouses only use the sun for lighting.
Oil and gases are typically used to keep the needed temperatures constant. The heating and lighting of solar-powered, environmentally friendly homes come from the same system.
Energy is collected by a solar panel and stored in batteries in a solar greenhouse. When the weather outside is chilly, rest assured that the insulation will keep the warmth within.
5. Remote Supply Of Electricity
Some farms are in outlying locations with spotty or nonexistent electrical service. Farmers there regularly deal with problems like power outages and shortages, which prevent them from functioning their farm machinery and tools.
The farms use solar photovoltaic systems to generate the necessary electricity, which is then stored in batteries for later use. This not only aids in lowering the strain on the grid but also saves farmers money.