Design, development, and performance evaluation of an energy-efficient spectrally selective photovoltaic mini greenhouse

Author Identifier

Md Momtazur Rahman

Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - ECU Access Only


Edith Cowan University


School of Science

First Supervisor

David Luke Field

Second Supervisor

Kamal Alameh


Due to decreasing land availability for agricultural use, most countries are endeavoring to find more sustainable and energy-efficient agricultural practices. Thus, achieving both United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)- SDG-2 (i.e., zero hunger) and SDG-7 (i.e., affordable and clean energy) require advances in contemporary greenhouse farming. This project aims to develop novel approaches to resolve this problem by first determining the wavelength ranges that plants require for optimum plant growth and designing a NANO- coating filter from this wavelength range that transmits only the necessary wavelength for the plant. An additional aim is to harness the solar spectral components to generate electricity using Photovoltaic (PV) technology, which enables Light Emitting Didoe (LED) light sources to be used, thus providing a more extended photoperiod.

Various types of PV-based greenhouses are exploited for sustainable agriculture. However, these PV greenhouses yield diverse performances with varying uncertainties, depending on the type of solar panel used (Opaque, Semi-Transparent, Organic), its installation location (tropical, dry, and polar), the percentage of PV roof cover (ratio of PV and unshaded area), and transparency levels (light transmissivity). This imposes the risk of obtaining a higher energy yield and optimum plant biomass from the greenhouse. The selection of suitable solar panels has the direct cost-benefit of preventing land misutilization and optimizing crop growth while reducing the environmental impact. In some cases, it is also possible that the cost of integrating and replacing a solar panel could exceed the cost of the greenhouse itself. Therefore, the challenges in conjugating a portable solar power system with mini greenhouses are explored in the research, along with a summary of the emerging farming technologies.

Finally, an innovative mini-greenhouse has been developed using NANO-sheet coverings and flexible mono-crystalline PV technologies to realize a progressive, self-sustainable, and protected cropping system. It supports the claims that technical maturity, higher efficiency, and easy installation of conventional flexible silicon PV panels make them a strong choice for a portable solar power system. Therefore, a novel strategy that provides an optimum growth strategy for greenhouse-grown plants while supplying sustainable energy for supplementary lighting systems is proposed in this thesis. By integrating renewable energy sources, optimum growth strategy, and advanced lighting systems, greenhouse operators can improve the efficiency, productivity, and profitability of their operations while also reducing their environmental impact.



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