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Case Study: Enhancing Horticulture with Aranet Pro Sensors under Semi-Transparent Photovoltaic Panels

Project Overview

In a pioneering venture, InterNET Ltd implemented the first hortivoltaic systems in Romania and Southeast Europe, designed for optimizing berry cultivation beneath semi-transparent photovoltaic panels, produced by Brite Solar, Greece. Launched in June 2023 and enhanced by early March 2024, this innovative project applies Aranet sensors to monitor the crucial microclimate and soil conditions for agriculture.

Aranet’s Role in Hortivoltaic Innovation

Utilizing the Aranet Pro products, InterNET Ltd established an online monitoring subsystem that transformed berry cultivation at SCDP Baneasa, Romania. This subsystem is part of a sophisticated hortivoltaic system that not only captures solar energy but also promotes precision agriculture through the innovative use of semi-transparent photovoltaic technology.

Aranet sensors are strategically deployed to measure environmental variables – air temperature, relative humidity, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), and soil conditions including moisture, temperature, and electrical conductivity. These sensors communicate data wirelessly to base stations that then upload the information to the Aranet Cloud, enabling real-time monitoring and analysis from remote locations.

Advancements in Electroculture

A notable enhancement in the project is its application of electric currents to influence plant growth—a technique known as electroculture. This method involves applying low-voltage currents via electrodes in the soil or conductive materials near plant roots to enhance nutrient uptake, increase photosynthesis, and improve overall plant resilience.

Technical and Functional Advantages

During the system’s unveiling, the advantages of integrating IoT technology with renewable energy solutions were demonstrated to a group of experts and media personnel. The event highlighted how Aranet’s technologies facilitate efficient, data-driven farming practices that are adaptable to various agricultural needs.

Impact and Future Directions

Dr. Dragos Ofrim, PhD in Electrical Engineering and the project lead at InterNET Ltd, shared insights into the integration strategy of the hortivoltaic systems. “With Aranet’s technology, we are not only looking to enhance crop yields and health but also to minimize environmental impact by reducing reliance on chemical inputs,” Dr. Ofrim stated. The system exemplifies how technological innovation can aid in the micro-industrialization of farms, opening doors to process automation and electromobility.

This case study exemplifies the effectiveness of Aranet solutions in pioneering applications that integrate renewable energy sources with innovative agricultural practices. By driving advancements in hortivoltaic systems, Aranet is at the forefront of promoting sustainable and efficient agricultural methods that are equipped to meet the challenges of modern farming.

Additional resources:

·         Read article in on this subject

·         Watch Aranet feature on Romanian state television, TVR1’s show “Viata satului” (Village Life), to see these innovations in action! (Starting from 1:40:00) video is in Romanian.

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