A Saudi Arabian startup has developed a modular photo voltaic panel for agrivoltaic functions. It’s particularly designed for areas with excessive photo voltaic radiation ranges and protects crops and crops from extra daylight.
Mirai Photo voltaic, a derivative of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah College of Science and Know-how (KAUST), has developed a foldable, versatile and modular photo voltaic panel for agrivoltaic functions.
The semitransparent Mirai Display screen module – or “PV shade display screen,” as the corporate calls it – options monocrystalline silicon photo voltaic cells. It’s appropriate for deployment on greenhouses to generate power and defend the crops from extreme daylight.
The PV shade screens are particularly designed for areas with excessive photo voltaic radiation ranges, the place greenhouses are used for energy-intensive managed atmosphere agriculture (CEA).
“The efficiency is determined by the shadowing stage, which is customizable in line with our consumer’s wants, and subsequently the variety of cells within the module,” mentioned CEO Michael Salvador. “The benefit of the Mirai Display screen is the retraction mechanism, which permits controlling the sunshine availability for the crops – as in a standard shade display screen – coupled with the pliability of utilizing numerous forms of crystalline silicon photo voltaic cells with excessive effectivity and stability. This grants our product benefits in efficiency and price compared with different PV applied sciences on this discipline.”
The proprietary display screen design options a normal constructing block that’s replicated over arbitrary areas to cowl both all or a part of the greenhouse space.
“That is vital as greenhouse designs usually are not absolutely standardized,” Salvador instructed pv journal. “The output energy is determined by the fraction of sunshine transmission. We sometimes use photo voltaic cells with efficiencies over 22%.”
A 60% shading module has a nominal energy of greater than 100 W per sq. meter. The voltage of the display screen is determined by the scale of the display screen, which is a operate of the greenhouse design. The voltage is often round 25 V per constructing block and 300 V per display screen part.
“Our display screen was designed with a robust concentrate on lowering the load of the module,” mentioned Michele De Bastiani, director of R&D. “The glass-free design allows weight ranges beneath 1.5 kg per m2, which permits for its deployment contained in the greenhouse utilizing the identical infrastructure as standard shade screens. This additionally protects the PV from the atmosphere, particularly soiling and scorching temperatures, that are quite common in desert areas.”
A typical set up doesn’t characteristic heavy metal buildings, however the firm claims that this allows a simplified set up mechanism.
“The set up mechanism was co-developed with the German shade display screen specialist Novavert,” mentioned De Bastiani, noting that Mirai Photo voltaic is working a number of pilots in numerous areas and plans to introduce a turnkey system within the fourth quarter of 2023.
The corporate additionally holds mental property associated to the optical properties and light-weight administration capabilities of the display screen.
“The areas of the display screen that aren’t concerned within the electrical energy manufacturing are tailor-made for optimized gentle transmission and diffusion with a proprietary know-how to keep away from shadowing casted from the opaque cells,” mentioned De Bastiani. “We are actually planning to extend our manufacturing capability.”
Mirai Photo voltaic manufactured the modules in Saudi Arabia, with the help of KAUST.
“Since we don’t use glass or a metallic body and have a diminished [balance of system], our PV screens can be more economical than standard PV know-how with the scaling of the manufacturing course of,” mentioned De Bastiani. “The [levelized cost of electricity] is determined by the geographic area and the extent of insolation. We goal areas with [levelized cost of electricity] of $0.03/kWh to $0.05/kWh.”
The corporate constructed three pilots in greenhouses in numerous areas.
“Thus far, the conclusion is that the biomass is on par with standard shade screens,” mentioned De Bastiani. “The financial profit stems from optimizing power and crop yield utilizing our retraction know-how.”