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Mobile Solar Farming

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by TheTalkingMule, Jan 21, 2020.

  1. TheTalkingMule

    TheTalkingMule Distributed Energy Enthusiast

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    Obviously there's a million and one interesting combinations for solar and farming, so please feel free to post and discuss any here.

    The thing that's been stuck in my head all day was this idea of solar only being installed or not installed on a farm. Why? Do we label a field "corn" and lock ourselves into only growing corn there forever? With solar hardware so cheap, what's stopping us from deploying solar arrays on a mobile platform like we have for linear irrigation?

    There was a show on PBS highlighting farm to table(perhaps called that), where they toured farms then cooked with their products. One farm was fully organic cage-free operation and had these cool mobile chicken coops that they'd rotate around the fields to help fertilize the soil. A month of chickens, maybe a month of sheep grazing, then something else. Could solar not be part of that mix?

    We already have farms set up for linear irrigation....

    [​IMG]

    ....just use a "solar planting rig" to deploy a semi-mobile solar array in a similar fashion. Entire rows of 100 panels could be set down into pre-set bracketing or just spiked. Then you rotate in some useful fashion.

    Anything like this possible or even remotely useful? Obviously modern US farming is super-optimized, but if properly incentivized would something like this be logical rather than just having a field be farming OR solar? After all, some season's have higher demand than others for certain farmed goods. It'd be nice to call up a company that could deploy an array for one season then yank it back up. Or maybe you grow only on the shoulder seasons?

    As a tie-in to Tesla.....how do you think Elon plans to deploy solar on Mars? Certainly not by hand. He probably already has a "solar planting rig" ready to roll!
     
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  2. mblakele

    mblakele beep! beep!

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  3. TheTalkingMule

    TheTalkingMule Distributed Energy Enthusiast

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    3rd world goat farming certainly pairs perfectly with solar in hot locations where goats need shade and weeds need to be controlled.

    Think it would be possible to train a domesticated farm animal to clean off panels? Like maybe train rabbits to run real fast and slide across the array?
     
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  4. mspohr

    mspohr Well-Known Member

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  5. TheTalkingMule

    TheTalkingMule Distributed Energy Enthusiast

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    Exactly what I'm talking about. Why not put those panels on a mobile platform similar to linear irrigation plumbing? No diesel or electricity infrastructure required!

    With the right legislative and regulatory loopholes, something like that could be deployed for a week then moved on to the next job. No permitting, no community meetings, no massive debt load, no complicated contracting. All that's needed is a place for the electricity to go and a price point for grid compensation.

    When you think about it, this wouldn't be much different than community solar once a very small amount of storage is present in each market you wanted to service to soak up the new(and variable) supply.
     

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