PV shade screens for greenhouses, agrivoltaics

Mirai Solar, a spinoff of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), has developed a foldable, flexible, and modular solar panel for agrivoltaic applications.

The semitransparent Mirai Screen module – or “PV shade screen,” as the company calls it – features monocrystalline silicon solar cells. It is suitable for deployment on greenhouses to generate energy and protect plants from excessive sunlight.

The PV shade screens are specifically designed for locations with high solar radiation levels, where greenhouses are used for energy-intensive controlled environment agriculture (CEA).

“The performance depends on the shadowing level, which is customizable according to our client’s needs, and therefore the number of cells in the module,” said CEO Michael Salvador. “The advantage of the Mirai Screen is the retraction mechanism, which allows controlling the light availability for the plants – as in a conventional shade screen – coupled with the flexibility of using various types of crystalline silicon solar cells with high efficiency and stability. This grants our product advantages in performance and cost when compared with other PV technologies in this field.”

The proprietary screen design features a standard building block that is replicated over arbitrary areas to cover either all or part of the greenhouse area. “This is important as greenhouse designs are not fully standardized,” Salvador told PV magazine. “The output power depends on the fraction of light transmission. We typically use solar cells with efficiencies over 22%.”

Read the complete article at www.pv-magazine.com.

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