Farmers have taken advantage of the large areas they own to generate power.
How electricity is generated for solar powered farms
It is often difficult in urban spaces, where roofs can be small and tall surrounding buildings can create excess shade to get the most out of solar panels, but this certainly isn’t true in the country. Agricultural land is ideal for solar panels, as there is often an abundance of space and plenty of uninterrupted sunlight. Solar panels can be a great way for farms to power themselves or even to begin generating electricity to sell back to the grid for a little additional income.
How water is heated
Another way to make the most of the sunlight is to use the power of the sun to heat the water around your home. A recent study estimated that heating water can use up to 25% of a household's total energy. That’s may be hard to believe, but a quarter of all money you spend on energy is spent heating up hot water. Solar hot water systems sit on your roof and use the heat of the sun to heat up water in a tank within your home. The tank is specially designed to retain heat, so that hot water is available even when the sun isn’t shining. The systems have also be designed to work well in the winter, although most systems retain the capacity to heat water using gas or electricity to protect you during unusually cold weather.
Using the heat of the sun to dry crops and timber has been around for many years, but again has been improved recently by technology. Solar dryers are an expensive investment and require a little space, but they are also an incredibly efficient way of drying, and the time saved will increase production and revenue. Depending on your business, it could be worth the investment.
Case Study: Existing solar powered farms in Australia
- Fraser Coast Solar Farm - generates power from 1630 unites of 250W photovoltaic panels
- Singleton Solar Farm - generates power from polycrystalline 60W panels, 200 kW ThinFilm panels and 60W panels
- Windorah Solar Farm - generates power from photovoltaic panels