The roof of a greenhouse might seem like a good place to lay some solar panels, but there's just one issue: they would block the sun. OK, maybe that's obvious. But for a group of researchers from UC Santa Cruz, it was just a problem that needed to be solved. Now, they've come up with an innovative new solar panel that can collect the sun's energy and still let the light pass through.
Called Soliculture LUMO panels, the panels generate electricity efficiently and at a lower cost than conventional panels. A recent study also showed that not only do the panels not negatively affect crop growth inside the greenhouse, they actually boost yields in some plants. In addition to collecting solar power, the LUMO panels use a light-altering dye that changes the color of the light that passes through to help optimize photosynthesis in the plants beneath them.