The term agrivoltaics refers to the use and development of photovoltaic power systems in farming and other forms of agriculture. Many farms and food producers see the benefits of solar power systems in agriculture. But even smaller plots of land need landscape maintenance. Traditionally this was done by lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and other “small off-road engines” (SOREs). However, small combustion engines such as these produce higher volumes of pollution than larger engines. This fact led California to pass a law that will restrict sales of new gas-powered leaf blowers and lawn mowers as well as other SOREs by 2024. How will landowners and landscape maintenance companies fare with this restriction in place?
Solar Power to the Lawnmowing Rescue
Battery-powered electric lawn mowers are becoming more popular on the market. Now an electric mower company in Ohio offers a solar alternative. They’ve introduced to the market a solar-assisted mower, or SAM. This commercial-sized electric mower has a 200-watt canopy that charges the electric batteries while also providing shade for the operator.
Another innovation comes from Husqvarna. It’s not only a solar powered lawn mower, but it’s robotic – like a Roomba for your lawn! Claiming this as the first of its kind in the world, the company says this solar-powered robotic lawn mower can clear 2,300 square meters of grass and the battery lasts up to 40 minutes. A bright sunny day will apparently extend that time by another 50%.
Along with these possibilities, another company called Soletrac recently released a new tractor. This four-wheel-drive tractor offers 70 horsepower with a swappable battery pack and regenerative braking, which slows the tractor down while putting energy back into the batteries. All of this is supplemented with an 8-kilowatt solar array to charge the tractor.
More Agrivoltaics to Come
Obviously, pioneering companies see where the solar winds are blowing, replacing the pollution of internal combustion engines with clean, efficient solar power. Solar power is not just a fad, and it’s spreading beyond rooftops and open fields. Who knows what other facets of daily life will benefit from solar power in the future?
One thing is for sure: you can benefit from solar power today by adding a photovoltaic panel system to your home. Solaron exclusively installs one of the most efficient on the market, the SunPower Equinox system. The entire system is comprehensive and made by SunPower, including the panels, the mounts, the inverters, the wires, the connectors – every component. Better yet, the entire system is covered by the industry’s only complete system warranty spanning 25 years. To find out more about solar power for your home, give our office a call or use our online form to schedule a free solar analysis for your property today.