Ground-mount solar installer Sunstall has launched Sunzaun, a company that makes vertical solar systems for farms and agricultural settings.
Sunzaun has designed its vertical solar systems for the growing field (no pun intended) of agrivoltaics – when agriculture and solar coexist on the same land. Crops are grown, or smaller animals such as sheep graze, around or underneath solar panels. Benefits include efficient land use, clean energy, and potential water savings due to shade created by the solar panels.
The Novato, California, company says its vertical solar systems can also be used as city infrastructure – that is, along highways, next to railroads, and as residential or public fences.
Sunzaun says on its website that its system is designed to accommodate framed and unframed bifacial vertical solar panels, and that wires are managed in a safe way. The systems are usable in slopes up to 15 degrees and can provide up to 0.084 psi wind load. The company says its UL 2703 certification – the safety standard for PV modules and panels – is in progress.
Check out Sunzaun’s system on the Somerset Gourmet Farm, a winery in Somerset, California. It features 43 vertical bifacial modules with a total power of 23 kW that are connected to a microinverter and two batteries:
Sunzaun writes about Somerset’s vertical solar system:
The Sunzaun follows the hilly area of the vineyard over 200 feet and supplies the farm with electricity mainly in the morning and in the afternoon. Besides the provided shading this vertical installation enables the farmer to move his harvesters next to the Sunzaun. In this way, wine growing and the production of renewable energy increase the efficiency of land use.
Researchers at Leipzig University of Applied Sciences claim in a paper published in August 2022 in the journal Smart Energy that mounting bifacial solar panels with one side facing east and the other facing west would produce renewable electricity in the range of inclined south systems.
Read more: Here’s why 1,000 sheep on a Colorado solar farm will be a win-win
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