Your Rooftop Garden Can Be a Sun Active Farm

A long area cats, weather instruments, and occasional toys, growing roofs and solar panels. The roof of a house or business is a good place to put it because the sunlight is not blocked by the shadows and the roof is often unused space – it is better for the environment to add panels to existing ones than to remove new solar panels.

But even panels covered with panels could not be used as efficiently as they could. A new field of science called rooftop agrivoltaics asks: What if we too grew crops under them? These may not be ordinary green roofs, which are usually small gardens, but instead are working gardens. The panels would provide shade for the plants — increase their yields — as well as indoors, reduce cold temperatures, and provide clean energy for the home. Population growth is expected more than twice by the year 2050. As the population continues to move to larger cities, roof-mounted generators can feed people and make city life more sustainable.

The roof is the most difficult place for plants to grow. Up there, the plant is exposed to the elements as well as constant sunshine because there are no trees to find shelter. (So, strong spices are the most popular plants on green roofs.) Yes, plants need light, but not this way. Jennifer Bousselot, an agronomist at Colorado State University, who studies indoor roofing, says: “Plants can enter a process called photorespiration mode, which is so bright and sunny that it cannot produce photosynthesize properly. “They start trying to take in air and break it down, instead of carbon dioxide, thus wasting energy.”

Photo: Thomas Hickey

In contrast, consider the function of the forest: All plants, except for the tallest trees, are shaded. For plants near the forest, light disperses, leaving the surrounding area. The tall trees that surround the area also make them less susceptible to wind and temperature variations as they would have grown outdoors.

The concept of agrivoltaics is to compare the nature of the forest with the crop. In Colorado, scientists have been studying terrestrial agrivoltaic fields and have found that the plants grow. it tends to grow in the shade. It is a natural response to the need for more light, and is good for vegetable crops such as lettuce because it increases yields. Pepper plants also bear fruit triple fruit in agrivoltaic systems such as solar panels. As a bonus, shaded plants require about half of the water which acts differently because there is less light that prevents water damage.

The same idea can be applied to the roof: Solar flares can provide shade for the plants, which can make the plants feel more comfortable and less thirsty. Under the roof panels, Bousselot found that it was cooler in summer and warmer in winter, and the panels served as windbreaks. Plants do not have to be food crops to benefit from the surrounding environment – adding wild plants to agrivoltaics on the roof, for example, provides flower arrangements. the common goddess. Scientists are also playing with the design of unsightly solar panels, which in theory could work better for organisms that require less sunlight than outside, but not the whole shade.

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