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ENVELOPE POWER GREENHOUSE (EPG) SOLABUNDANCE SYSTEM

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Sustainable production of food and energy in the greenhouse combined with a power storage system

PROJECT EPG SOLABUNDANCE SYSTEM

IN SHORT

The EPG-Solabundance System is a self-sufficient system using the sun to generate energy and extract water from the atmosphere. Technically, it is a synthesis of a greenhouse, the EPG (Envelope Power Greenhouse), and a thermochemical storage unit for solar energy consisting of two interconnected hydride reactors, the Solabundance System. The EPG-Solabundance System is the consistent implementation of a multifunctional solar energy station.

 

CHALLENGES

IN PRODUCING ENERGY AND FOOD

At present, agricultural and technical use of solar energy compete for required land. At the current average yield of agricultural production, 0.4 hectares of land are needed to feed one person. And day by day about 5000 liters of water to irrigate this area. If one multiplies the growing number of earth inhabitants with these requirement numbers, one understands that the limits of the availability for land and water are reached and often already exceeded.

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THE CONCEPT

OF THE EPG SOLABUNDANCE SYSTEM

In the Energy Power Greenhouse, a filter system divides the solar radiation spectrum into two areas. One is the ideal plant light, under which plants thrive stress-free and optimally. The second, larger portion of the solar spectrum does not contribute to plant growth. It is used to produce various forms of technical energy: electricity, heat, cold.

The EPG Greenhouse thus combines a system for optimal plant growth and a solar power plant under one cover.

By coupling the high-temperature heat generated in the energy section of the EPG into the thermochemical storage and heat pump system "Solabundance", electrical power, cold and heat are available around the clock.

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HOW TO

A STEP BY STEP DISCRIPTION

THE SOLABUNDANCE SYSTEM

Under the transparent cover of the greenhouse, Fresnel lenses (2) concentrate direct sunlight onto receiver tubes (2a) during the day. 

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Molten salt in the receiver tubes transports 500°C hot solar heat into the high temperature reactor of the Solabundance system.

The heat pushes hydrogen into the low temperature reactor (4).

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During the night, the Solabundance low temperature reactor extracts heat from the ambient air.

The hydrogen gas bound in the low temperature hydride is released by the low temperature heat of the ambient air, and flows back into the high temperature reactor. This is associated with two effects:

The hydrogen gas flowing back into the high-temperature reactor generates high-temperature heat again by reconnecting to the high-temperature hydride.

Thus, the high temperature reactor is a constant 500°C hot, and can therefore continuously either run a Stirling engine to generate electricity and/or provide heat for frying, cooking and baking (typical bakery).

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As heat is extracted from the environment to drive the hydrogen gas out of the low temperature hydride, cold is generated, typically down to -10°C for the operation of a cold store, and at the same time atmospheric water vapor condenses to liquid drinking water.

The Solabundance System thus provides completely clean, emission-free and self-regulating, around-the-clock thermal energy of 500 °C and cooling energy of -10 °C.

THE EPG SYSTEM

The Fresnel lens concentrates the direct light of the solar radiation (SR) on the receiver tube and produces 500 °C hot molten salt.

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The diffuse light of the radiation (SR) passes through the Fresnel lens and reaches the plant.

In this way, 80% of the incoming light is used to generate process heat and 20% illuminates the plant in an ideal diffuse manner. This corresponds to the distribution of direct and diffuse light produced by the Fresnel lenses.

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In the spring of 2022, a pilot project of an EPG Solabundance system will be set up in the TTT in Portugal with a greenhouse of 100m².