Agriculture Solar power farms and farming - is it possible to have both?

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by DKR, Oct 8, 2021.


  1. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Discussion starter


    Massive solar farms pull otherwise arable land out of production in many areas. Some installations have 'seen the light' and maintain sheep under the panels. The sheep get good fodder and the solar operator saves on machinate costs. The sheep are indifferent and may benefit from the shelter provided. Other (smaller) attempts have focused on chicken and other low impact animals.
    Cows, on the other hand, have 'issues' with panels...

    Another view (A Brit)


    Renewable Energy | Projects, Operations, Solutions | BayWa r.e.

    Groot denken, goed doen - GroenLeven marktleider in zonne-energie
    Some cool out of the box thinking for solar farming.... language warning - Dutch.

    Raspberries and solar panels (Zonne-energie boven zachtfruit - unieke innovatie)

    *******
    Back in the US, we see this:
    upload_2021-10-8_7-12-39.
    (near Delta UT)
    Once vegetation restarts, the sheep will have no problem grazing here.

    and in Texas
    Contractors Burned By Texas Solar Farm File Claims for $16.7M
    Yes, even the Green industry has problems... (Note the core product is Chinese) See Q CELLS

    ***
    The EU subsidizes farming operations, (Pot and kettle) but current regulations do not permit solar and ag as this in no longer a sole ag operation.
    Here in the US, this impact to subsidy has yet reached the courts. When it does (yes, it will) the results could be interesting.

    A 300 MW solar power installation in the West Desert of UT is one thing, taking otherwise productive farmland out of production is another matter altogether. The jury is still out....
     
    duane likes this.
  2. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe


    commercial pitch for the method of farming
     
  3. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Space the panels apart so you can grow crops in say the southwest that don't tolerate the intense southwest sun combined with the low humidity with out a break from the sun.
    But then how do you drive a tractor under them.
     
    DKR likes this.
  4. Wildbilly

    Wildbilly Monkey+++

    Also if you operate farm machinery near the solar panels the resulting dust (I grew up on a farm, trust me, there is ALWAYS dust!) will decrease the power produced and increase the need for cleaning the panels. Grazing small animals (you don't want a half-ton of cow rubbing on the supports) like sheep or goats would be good, as would be chicken houses with panels on the roofs, or some crop that doesn't require large tractors, cotton pickers, or combines.
     
    duane likes this.
  5. johnbb

    johnbb Monkey+

    Isn't funny how any form of energy seems to have drawbacks, therefor I want my hydrocarbons keep your stinking over priced solar power electricity.
     
    duane likes this.
  6. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Example are shown in the video.
     
  7. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Got to clean them off. Or angle them steeper than about 30 degrees so the rain washes shit off them.

    I let my panels get really dirty and it only seems to reduce output about 4%.

    I say solar panels belong on people's roof tops.
     
    duane likes this.
  8. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    I say you do whatever works for you in the situation you have.

    I've got both, but the majority of mine are ground mounted....especially the larger ones. It's a WHOLE lot easier to install them at ground level than on a steep roof (mine is 10/12 slope....around 42 degrees, which is what is called for in my location). I've got a 5 panel array planned for a corner of my south facing roof, and will have to rent an boom lift to get up the 20' it is off the ground. I'm mounting it there to keep the wire run/voltage loss low for a water heating element....same reason the other two arrays are on a roof. At my age, roof mounting is more of a challenge too.

    Water heater array

    [​IMG]

    Combo ground/building mount:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Ground only mount:

    [​IMG]

    Stand on the ground, mount on the roof: :D (runs a fan in greenhouse)

    [​IMG]

    Building mount:
    [​IMG]

    Roof mount:
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    I haven't paid an electric bill since 2010. How you and your hydrocarbons doing ? :D
     
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  10. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Maybe. We have one 'solar farm' in our county.....I think it's 10-15ac.....and another is planned. Thing about it is a LOT of arable land is sorta marginal for most kinds of agriculture. You start looking around any given area, and you'll see a whole lot of land doing nothing.....but the sun still falls on it.

    That said, I'm for small, local installs right at the end user location. Awful lot of roof space going to waste. My guess is as a nation, we could cut a pretty significant of power production out with an aggressive solar program.
     
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  11. johnbb

    johnbb Monkey+

    I was being a little sarcastic- I don't think green tech will supply enough power to supply US industry and the millions of city dwellers. I have been thinking of installing panels, cost seems to be high= love the fact you have not paid a power bill in 10+ years. If I might ask what is a ball park figure what it cost you to get off the grid?
     
    duane likes this.
  12. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    I'm not off grid. I back feed the grid with 10kw, and have another 12kw that is battery based so I can go off grid IF I need to.

    No idea on cost, other than be sitting down when you figure it.
     
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  13. Wildbilly

    Wildbilly Monkey+++

    Someday you're gonna have to replace that roof.....and those panels are gonna be in the way...you might want to go on vacation while they are removing the panels and the old roof, and installing the new roof and panels.
     
    duane likes this.
  14. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    Same here and I don't let that info out to the softer one.
    I bought my Man lift so when Im older than now ..Also on a metal roof for the huge array .
    Sloth
     
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  15. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Metal roof.
     
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  16. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Replaced my shingle roof about 10 years ago with 50yr Elk shingles. I'm gonna guess I'll be on permanent vacation when it needs replacing again. :D
     
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  17. Wildbilly

    Wildbilly Monkey+++

    A metal roof would be the ONLY way to go! That way you won't have to remove the shingles AND the solar panels every 15-20 years (unless you have wind or hail damage)! Replacing the roof is bad enough, but being off-grid and without power would be worse!
     
    snake6264 likes this.
  18. snake6264

    snake6264 Combat flip flop douchebag

    50 year ELK don't count on it and the warranty only covers a manufacture's defect not labor in most cases
     
  19. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Dunno....we'll find out I guess. I did get 22yrs out of the previous 20 year shingles. My neighbor got 36 years out of his 20 yr shingles, replacing the roof just about 2 weeks ago. In fairness, it SHOULD have been done years before. They've been in bad shape for a decade.

    As for warranty, most building material warranties aren't worth the paper they are printed on.....that is a given. The roof is is good shape right now, and I fully expect it to last my time in the house.
     
    johnbb likes this.
  20. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Metal roof last up to 50 years.
    Seen plenty that are already 20 to 25 years old and still look like new.
    Been round the world and the North America is the only place on earth that uses asphalt shingles. I'll never put asphalt on one of my roofs ever again.
     
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