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Unread 01-24-2023, 07:26 PM   #16
jadnashua
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Read an interesting article today.

First, a really quick thing on tomatoes. There are two classes: determinant ad non-determinant. The difference between the two is how the fruits grow and ripen. If you're doing something like canning your crop, you'd want them to all grow and ripen at the same time, as you can then just pick them at the same time. Not so good if you want them for your salad, and indeterminant ones start, blossom, and ripen throughout their growing season.

The experiment in California was done on some determinant tomatoes where they covered two plots with translucent solar panels...one let red light through, and the other, blue light through. A third plot was left as a control. The plants with the red translucent panels had a 120-140% higher useful yield than the control while also producing power that could be used by the farm, or sold back to the utility. This happened by having less unripened or spoiled product...i.e., more useful product from the same plot. It also kept the moisture levels higher, meaning less watering required.

So, at least with some crops, the use of solar cells as cover is a plus.
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Unread 01-25-2023, 08:18 AM   #17
Just In Tile LLC
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Jim,the combination of red and blue hues for growing plants has been thoroughly tested in California and Colorado for quite some time.

Speaking on tomatoes, a grower out of Israel was experimenting with doses of salt water to modify flavor most importantly sweetness, expressed in units of Val.

They grew some tomatoes that were sweeter then coca-cola. When asked how they tasted the grower said disgustingly sweet, the follow up question was why didn't you market them to the United States.... Glad we are known for being over the top gluttons.
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Unread 01-26-2023, 07:53 AM   #18
jadnashua
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Yes, but making a solar cell translucent while passing the red component in the process is the new part of this. Improved yield, decreased water needs, and solar power all at the same time! The solar panel can coexist with farmland.

Two other things on solar cell development, a coating that reradiates the UV component into visible light that can improve the output on cloudy days, and a modification that can produce electricity at night from the heat radiating through the panel from the warmer earth. The output isn't huge, but considering that today's panels produce no power at night, anything to help is worthwhile. It should help minimize both grid storage needs and backup generation capacity. Further research may improve the output and keep the cost down.

The point is, there are ways to mitigate some of the greenhouse producers without compromising things for the worse. We need an open mind and creativity.
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