Solar PV Alternatives at Russell Ranch (UC Davis)

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Project evaluated three solar photovoltaic (PV) alternatives with low land use impact for use at a campus-affiliated research farm to meet the electrical energy load of two well water pumps. The three alternatives are: 1) the solar tower which consists of vertically stacked PV panels, 2) the mobile bench, which includes PV panels mounted on a repurposed mobile shaded bench, and 3) the solar greenhouse, which utilizes semi-transparent thin PV as the fenestration material in a conventional greenhouse structure. The mobile bench, at $303,000, was estimated to cost the least expensive to implement. The solar tower, requiring the least area, at 551 ft2, was estimated to be the most expensive.

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