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Research Papers

Co-Generation of Solar Electricity and Agriculture Produce by Photovoltaic and Photosynthesis—Dual Model by Abellon, India

[+] Author and Article Information
Beena Patel

Abellon Clean Energy Ltd,
Sangeeta Complex,
Near Parimal Railway Crossing, Ellis Bridge,
Ahmedabad 380006, India
e-mail: beena.patel@abelloncleanenergy.com

Bharat Gami, Pankaj Patel

Abellon Clean Energy Ltd,
Sangeeta Complex,
Near Parimal Railway Crossing, Ellis Bridge,
Ahmedabad 380006, India

Vipul Baria

Abellon Agrisciences Ltd,
Field Research Station,
Bhatkota Village, Sabarkantha,
Modasa 383250, India

Akash Patel

Department of Biotechnology,
Hemchandracharya North Gujarat University,
Patan 384265, Gujarat, India

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING: INCLUDING WIND ENERGY AND BUILDING ENERGY CONSERVATION. Manuscript received April 23, 2018; final manuscript received October 26, 2018; published online November 30, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Gerardo Diaz.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 141(3), 031014 (Nov 30, 2018) (9 pages) Paper No: SOL-18-1189; doi: 10.1115/1.4041899 History: Received April 23, 2018; Revised October 26, 2018

Sustainable use of land and water is crucial in the era of climate change. Abellon Clean Energy has established 3 MW solar plant for practicing agricultural under the solar panels to address food and energy security involving a rural community. This innovation is first of its kind named as “solar-agri-electric model.” The water used for washing the solar panels to maintain efficiency by dust removal irrigates agriculture produce under the panels. This gives 24–34 tones/hectare/yr agriculture produced by reusing 78 lakhs liters of water per year and capturing 250 tons of CO2 in vegetables as food. The 3 MW solar project is registered under clean development mechanism (CDM) under United National Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that reduces 0.1 million tonnes CO2 emissions over 25 years vis-a-vis fossil fuels. Around 52 MT/yr post-harvested residues are used for organic fertilizer, composting, and fodder. Compound wall to safeguard the project site allowed creeper vegetables to grow and reduces dust deposition on the panels through wind breaking filtration. This initiative enhanced degree of sustainability along with local employment of 215 people from four villages including 156 women. In India, 1059.64 MW installed solar plants have potential to sequester 1,600,000 tons CO2/year with abilities of 10,000 tons of agricultural produce that could employ 2000 people. Worldwide solar farms have potential to sequester 143,000 MTCO2 through vegetation producing 100,000 MT of agriculture produce annually. Efficient use of natural resources requires facilitation of local/regional policies with reference to climatic condition, agricultural potential, and availability of natural resources.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Concept design of agriculture under solar panel

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Fig. 2

Solar radiation capture through photovoltaic and photosynthesis platforms

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Fig. 3

Site protection by compound wall with dust clarifying mechanism of design concept

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Fig. 4

Land preparation under solar panel for agriculture: (a) soil tilling by rotavator machine and (b) fertilizer and seed application

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Fig. 5

Agricultural produce under solar panel

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Fig. 6

Irrigation using cleaning water and water retention by jute bags

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Fig. 7

Women empowerment and micro-entrepreneurship

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Fig. 8

Wind and dust protection of solar panels by creepers and henna plants: (a) ivy guard on compound wall and (b) henna plants encircling solar plant

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