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Magenta greenhouse glass generates electricity, doesn't bug plants

Greenhouses already tend to be situated in such a way that they receive a lot of sunlight, so why not incorporate solar panels into them? That's just what University of California, Santa Cruz spinoff company Soliculture has done. But there's one thing to note about its greenhouses – their roof glass is colored magenta. According to a new study, though, it doesn't harm plant growth … in fact, some plants actually do better under the colored light.

The greenhouses utilize what's known as Wavelength-Selective Photovoltaic Systems (WSPVs). This technology reportedly "generates electricity more efficiently and at less cost than traditional photovoltaic systems."

Embedded in the roof panel glass is a bright magenta luminescent dye. It absorbs blue and green wavelengths of light, and transfers its energy to narrow photovoltaic strips. It is these strips which produce the electricity. That electricity can be used to power things in the greenhouse such as fans, heaters and watering systems – this could allow the greenhouses to run off-grid, and not rely on fossil fuels.

Read more at New Atlas (Ben Coxworth)

Publication date: 11/7/2017



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