Solar Pannels

How To Heat a Greenhouse With Solar Panels?

How To Heat a Greenhouse With Solar Panels

If you have or want to build a greenhouse and are considering heating it to grow food all year round, solar panels, also called photovoltaics or PVs, are the way to go. Solar energy is perfect for greenhouses since you’ll already have your greenhouse in an area with optimum sunlight. 

Solar energy is clean and green, so you can enjoy a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables even in winter without having to have them trucked in from tropical climates at significant environmental cost.

Let’s take a look at how to heat a greenhouse with photovoltaics.

How Do Solar Panels Work for a Greenhouse?

On or Off-Grid?

First, you must decide if your greenhouse is on the grid (connected to a utility company’s electricity) or off-grid. If your system is off-grid, it means you’ll need a solar generator system complete with battery storage so that you can store the excess energy your photovoltaics produce during the day when the sun is shining.

Then, it can be used at night or during bad weather when your panels are not generating enough power on their own. Staying on-grid means you don’t need to spend the extra money on batteries; you can just buy the photovoltaics.

The drawback of a grid-tied system without battery backup is that you’ll be at the whims of the grid if the power goes out, which could cost you dearly in the winter. No matter your choice, your energy will still be mostly or completely powered by the sun, helping combat climate change while also saving money on your electricity bill.

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need for a Greenhouse?

How many photovoltaics you need depends entirely on your energy usage. You can calculate your energy usage by adding up the watts from each piece of equipment you’ll be using. If you already have a heater, check the wattage.

If you haven’t yet set up your system, how much heating you need will depend on the square footage of your greenhouse and how well it holds heat. A small greenhouse may only need a single 400W solar panel to heat it, while larger greenhouses will need several.

Also, remember to include things like lighting and pumps for your automatic irrigation systems. The watts needed for these will need to be added to your total to determine how many panels you need.

The number of panels you need will also depend on the rated power of your photovoltaics, their efficiency rating, your exposure, trees that may shade them, and other local environmental factors like the number of peak sun hours.

How to Heat a Greenhouse With Solar Panels

1. Plan Panel Placement and System Components

To choose the best photovoltaic system for your greenhouse, consider what you need and where your components will be installed.

For instance, how much space do you have on your greenhouse roof, and will that roof support the weight? You also need to consider where the sun shines since you want to put your PVs facing the sun to get the most out of them.

For those living in very hot climates, ensure you have a gap beneath your panels to allow for airflow to help dissipate the temperature; you may even want to face them east or west instead of south since very high temperatures will reduce your efficiency and overall lifespan of your panels.

2. Gather the Required Tools and Components

Order your photovoltaics, battery storage if you’re going off-grid, and any additional tools you’ll need, including wires, screwdrivers, and mounting system components, which will vary with the type of set-up you use.

3. Install and Connect the Panels

Install your brackets or mounting system first, then attach your panels. Next, you need to connect all of your panels together in series.

4. Install the Solar Battery and Inverter

Use a solar battery like that in Solar Generators. They’ll already have a built-in inverter that converts the DC electricity produced by your solar panels and stores it in your battery into the AC electricity that appliances like heaters use. All you need to do is connect your panels to your battery system.

5. Install and Connect Your Heater And Other Devices

Depending on your system, you can plug your heater into your solar battery or into the greenhouse’s electrical system. You can even tie it all into a thermostat for easy automatic temperature control. Also, don’t forget to connect any lights, pumps, or other components to your system.

Benefits of Using Solar Panels to Heat a Greenhouse

Grow Warm Season Food in Cold Climates 

Using solar panels to heat your greenhouse, you can grow more warm-season crops like tomatoes and peppers in cold climates without contributing to climate change.

Save Money on Electricity

Even though installing photovoltaics requires an upfront investment, once installed and you reach the solar payback period, your energy is completely free when you achieve a return on your investment.

Energy Independence – No More Irrigation Power Outages

When you build your system with a battery, you’ll never have to worry about power outages again. This could be critical if the grid goes down in winter and your plants freeze without power. The same problem could happen in summer if you depend on air conditioners to keep the temperature tolerable for your plants.

Easy Installation and Low Maintenance

Photovoltaics are relatively easy to install, and the best part is that once they’re installed, they require virtually no maintenance. Depending on your climate and other local conditions, you may need to rinse the panels off once or twice a year to remove dust and debris.

Quiet Operation

The days of noisy, smelly fossil-fuel generators are a thing of the past. When you use solar generators instead, you can enjoy super-quiet operation. The loudest thing will be your heater, which will be inside your greenhouse, so there’s no need to worry about noise anymore.

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Read More-Top 5 Benefits Of Solar Power For Businesses In India

Read More-Solar Rooftop Subsidy Scheme

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