A semi-transparent solar roof greenhouse has several advantages. (Photo: Yang Yang Lab/UCLA)
The University of California put a semi-transparent solar roof on a greenhouse — and made a surprising discovery.
Translucent solar roofs are an emerging sustainability technology because they can replace windows. Researchers University of California (UCLA) I tested a special process for applying the promising method to greenhouse roofs. Other benefits have emerged.
The team used semi-transparent organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells to test the application. The problem with this is the low operational stability of the organic components. The scorching sunlight decomposes it in the long run.
In contrast, the group developed an intermediate layer that reduces roots and prevents structural deterioration. It also improves the performance of photovoltaic cells. Scientists have found other advantages in the behavior of plants.
The secret is in the antioxidant L-glutathione, which consists of glutamine, cysteine and glycine. It has improved the efficiency of solar cells and extended their lifespan.
Even after 1,000 hours, they still have over 80 percent efficiency. The study also proves that the plants grew better than they did in the comparison greenhouse. This applies to grains such as wheat, as well as beans and broccoli.
“We didn’t expect organic solar cells to outperform a conventional glass-roof greenhouse,” explains lead author Yepin Zhao. However, the experiments have been fixed many times.
Zao continues to explain, “In fact, too much sun exposure can do more harm than good, especially in climates like California where sunshine is abundant.” The extra layer blocks both ultraviolet rays, which can stunt plant growth, and infrared rays. It can cause overheating in greenhouses.
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