Feeding the Future: student-led design at the nexus of food, energy, and water

Project number: 
UA Biosphere 2
Academic year: 
The project team developed an agrivoltaic system design and established solar production estimates to determine the renewable energy off-set for the Freight Farm located at Biosphere 2. Additional goals included structural design, operational guidelines, design of a secondary freight container to house electronics for the solar components, and a functional model. The design can work in any offgrid system located in arid regions where there is no or limited electrical grid connectivity.

The agrivoltaic system consists of 61 solar panels, a structural support system for the panels and an electrical system that controls the flow and storage of energy. While the team built a functional, smaller-scale prototype, they also created various models and electrical diagrams, worked with structural applications, and performed calculations to verify the full-scale design. The demonstration model incorporates the key components of the Freight Farm-Agrivoltaic System, including a structural assembly, electrical and solar components, and system monitoring.

Project Video

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