Glass to Power at the forefront in the use of LSC technology for smart greenhouses

Glass to Power is committed on several fronts for the development of innovative solutions for smart greenhouses. 

As part of the Help2Grow project, funded by the POR Piedmont Region, Glass to Power, in collaboration with Enerbrain, a company based in Turin, will test its transparent photovoltaic windows for the Farm of the Future. The project envisages the use of new technologies managed by artificial intelligence algorithms to make farming more energy efficient through the integration of renewable energy production systems such as Luminescent Solar Concentrators (LSC) and sunlight manipulation devices to influence the growth and quality of crops. Developments will cover IoT sensors for monitoring the various environmental parameters, new nanomaterials to help resist biotic and abiotic stress, a technology for activating and oxygenating water to reduce microbial content. The LSC applied in the project will be produced by Glass to Power, which is able to realize photovoltaic devices that convert light radiation into electricity while maintaining high degrees of transparency. The transparency characteristics of the devices are in fact controlled during the production phase through the quantity of emitters inserted in the device. This will allow to obtain electrical production efficiencies between 1.5% and 2.5% with degrees of transparency that vary between 30 and 70%, that is, always maintaining a high level of brightness of the internal environments. This design therefore offers a number of advantages for the realization of new zero-energy greenhouses. It is possible to install devices with high efficiency and reduced transparency in the sunniest portions of the greenhouse or dedicated to crops that require greater control of the irradiation, while devices with high transparency can be positioned in conjunction with areas less exposed to the sun or that require high degrees of natural internal lighting. The project will last 24 months starting from January 2020 with a total cost of around 800 thousand euros.

In the agricultural, agri-food and environmental sector the Memorandum of Understanding between Glass to Power and the Edmund Mach Foundation of San Michele all’Adige (TN), one of the most important research centers in the agro-food sector at European level, was signed. Among the key points of the agreement, which will have a duration of 5 years, there are the development of transparent photovoltaic elements and the use of photo-selective transparent elements engineered by Glass to Power for application in greenhouses both in a rural and urban context; the study of nanoparticles specifically engineered for use in the agri-food sector and joint participation in funding programs and pilot projects.

At last, a new opportunity for Glass to Power comes from Sicily, through the NITAP project – “nanomaterials and technologies for biocontrol in protected agriculture” – where the University of Catania and the Market Led Srl business networks are partners. The project involves joint testing of LSCs and PE films doped with nanoparticles for the manipulation of the solar spectrum. A first step will be the conversion of industrial buildings into the innovative “passive agrivoltaic Mediterranean greenhouse”.