Greenhouses provide a controlled environment for plant growth, which increases crop yields, reduces the use of water and fertilizers, and offers resilience to droughts and extreme weather. However, greenhouse operation is energy intensive due to their heating and cooling loads. Luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) are promising for semitransparent greenhouse roofs that produce clean electricity, thus reducing the greenhouse energy demand, while also transmitting enough light to satisfy plant growth. Herein, we model the performance of LSC roofs designed as glass panels coated with quantum dot (QD)/polymer nanocomposite films and front-facing surface-mounted photovolatic cells. Five widely studied QD materials are examined to demonstrate that the proposed QD LSC roofs can have effective power conversion efficiencies exceeding 10% while also increasing the red-light fraction, which is beneficial for plant growth. The effect of LSC integration on the greenhouse thermal energy demands is studied for the example of silicon (Si) QD LSC roofs. In warm climates, solar power generated by the Si QD LSC roofs satisfies the entire greenhouse energy demand and thus enables net-zero energy operation. Overall, the results of the current research demonstrate the strong potential of integrating QD LSCs into greenhouses to reduce energy costs and enhance plant growth.
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© 2023 The Authors. Advanced Sustainable Systems published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.
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