The University of Alicante (UA) and the French company Solar Cloth System are jointly investigating how to improve the management of agricultural greenhouses and, specifically, are working on implementing a shading mesh that generates photovoltaic energy and that will have a software platform that includes “sustainability parameters”.

The vice-rector for Transfer, Innovation and Scientific Dissemination of the UA, María Jesús Pastor, and the CEO of the French company have signed an agreement to develop this system, a meeting in which the director of the Teaching Transfer Secretariat of the UA has also been present. UA, José Luis Todolí, as reported by the academic institution this Thursday in a statement.

The project will be directed by Francisco Javier Ferrández Pastor, tenured professor of the Department of Information Technology and Computing (DTIC), through the UCIE AI and the Industrial Informatics and Computer Networks research group (GI I2RC).

The agreement will serve to carry out a proof of concept of the new material developed by Solar Cloth System within the framework of the ‘EARN: Development and industrialization of photovoltaic textiles’ project. It is a material composed of photovoltaic meshes for agronomic shading, whose functionality will be verified through this research in the greenhouse facilities of the UA plant experimental unit.

The academic institution will provide the greenhouse module of the plant experimental unit and the necessary means to install and maintain the agronomic shading mesh, the adaptation and preparation of the data collection software platform and the software license for use in the test. of concept.

The data obtained on generation and agronomic parameters will be used by both parties to assess the feasibility of the energy management system.

Ferrández stressed that the installation will allow the services of the software platform developed by the UA’s UCIE AI innovation group to be expanded. “The resulting agronomic demonstrator will be a pioneer in incorporating digital enabling technologies applied to optimize processes, digital traceability and sustainability in crop production”, he stressed.

The UA demonstrator resulting from this research has already attracted the interest of farmer associations and collaboration with other research groups and has obtained resources from the Cannadig project, from the I D I agri-food program (Agroalnext-GVA), which is financed with funds European NextGenerationEU.

In addition, the agreement contemplates that once the meshes are installed in the greenhouse module of the plant experimental unit owned by the UA, they will be installed “permanently and free” for teaching and research use by the research staff of the academic institution. .