How to Use Solar Power on a Farm

It has become easier and more affordable to use solar power on a farm due to the rapid advancements in technology and the increasing awareness about renewable energy sources. Although many farms would find it difficult to become completely solar powered, natural methods of harnessing solar energy and installing solar panels are some basic techniques that can be adapted by almost any farmer.


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    Survey your site and find areas that receive direct sunlight during most part of the day without any obstructions. Ideal locations include open land as well as buildings with glass or open rooftops. Usually you can find a solar installation company or dealership to assess which areas of your farm would be most suitable for harnessing the sun's rays.
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    Add a photovoltaic (PV) system. A PV system comprises of photovoltaic cells that can convert sunlight into electricity. The electricity can then be used for various tasks on your farm such as pumping water, running fans and operating other tools on the farm that use electricity. Installation of a photovoltaic system can be expensive if your farm requires a large amount of electricity but in the long run it is a cost-effective solution since it lowers your electricity bills.
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    Take advantage of solar space heating in the areas of your farm that require heating. You can use heat from the sun to keep your livestock and raw dairy products warm. Many farm buildings need to be maintained at a certain temperature and humidity level in order to benefit the health and growth of farm animals. A solar space heating system monitors the internal conditions of the building and activates the sunscreen and ventilation systems to keep the temperature and humidity at optimum levels.
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    Create a solar greenhouse to store heat from the sun. A greenhouse lets sunlight in through glass panes but once the light is converted to heat, it cannot escape back through the glass. The solar greenhouse can have the following added features that maximize this method so it becomes effective even during winter days.
    • Glazed glass that allows more sunlight to come in and less heat from escaping.
    • Materials placed inside the greenhouse that gather and store heat from the sun.
    • Insulation to prevent heat loss.
    • Natural methods of cooling, heating and ventilation to lower energy consumption.
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    Allow your crops to dry under the sun after harvesting. You can spread any grain or fruit that needs to be dried either in the field or a separate area of open land. Choose a surface that is naturally warm in order to increase drying. Exposure to the sun will also protect your crops against birds, insects and rodents. This method is known as solar crop drying.
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    Use solar power on a farm to heat water. Solar powered water heaters use glass to gather solar energy and transfer it to water storage tanks. Other parts of the plumbing system such as pipes and pumps are used to circulate the heat and reduce its exposed surface area to minimize heat loss.
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    Raise animals between the solar panel arrays on a farm. On a solar farm there are lots of solar panel arrays. Between these arrays is spacious land where grass is grown. In this case chicken, duck and even sheep can be raised on the farm. Chicken and duck can eat insects and grass seeds, and sheep can graze in a leisurely mood.


  • Many governments offer incentives to help pay farmers for installing renewable energy systems. Contact your local or federal energy department to ask about tax cuts and other bonuses.


  • Always monitor livestock and crops that are exposed directly to sunlight. Excessive exposure can lead to health risks or crop deterioration.

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Categories: Solar Energy | Farming