Purdue project could lead to farms co-producing crops, clean energy

Read the full story in the Washington Times-Herald.

As suburbs expand and housing developments continue to eat up previously undisturbed tracts of rural land, the issue of available space is becoming a greater consideration among solar companies and researchers. It’s led to a new field of study: agrivoltaics — combining agriculture and photovoltaics, a branch of technology focused on converting light into energy.

A team of engineers and agronomists at Purdue University has been experimenting with the possibilities of “aglectric” farming, mounting solar panels 15 to 20 feet above the ground at the university’s Agronomy Center for Research and Education (ACRE) facility in West Lafayette. Among the project’s goals is to establish and refine efficient methods of collecting infrared radiation for energy production while letting visible light pass through to crops like corn and soybeans.

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