Soliker, based in the town of Béjar in Salamanca, has created a special photovoltaic panel for use in greenhouses, replacing the current plastic and glass ones. The system will allow for crop cultivation while simultaneously generating energy.
The panel’s features, including a special treatment, allow sunlight to pass through the panel without any spectral distortion, which is essential for the cultivation of plants.
Currently, a Dutch company is the first with this new type of greenhouse facility. In Spain, the system is being tested in the Balearic and Canary Islands, while awaiting a court decision on an action that prevents energy generated by these types of systems being supplied to the electrical grid, as solar farms and solar panels installed on the top of some buildings do.
Soliker, specialising in the design, development, production and sale of high performance flat-plate solar thermal collectors and thin-film photovoltaic cells, has launched a project to adapt solar energy to the cultivation of plants.
The aim of the initiative is to use the current panels with a special semitransparent cell in the construction of greenhouses. This system will be cost effective while also protecting the crops.
Francisco Maestre, the owner of Soliker, considers this proposal to be “an application that will make it possible to substitute the traditional glass used in greenhouses, providing agronomists with the quality of sunlight needed to cultivate crops, in addition to producing electricity, allowing for the dual use of the solar panel”.
To provide this service, it will be the company that installs the new greenhouse that decides on the features of the solar panels. The panels can be made with more of fewer photovoltaic filaments and depending on the solar needs of the plants will have a higher or lower level of transparency.