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Monday, February 26, 2024

Harnessing sun’s energy for sustainable farming

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THE world is transitioning towards a more sustainable future, and the aquaculture industry is no exception.

Solar-powered shrimp farming is emerging as a promising solution to reduce the environmental impact of shrimp production while also increasing efficiency and profitability.

Mindanao aquaculture company San Andres Aqua Culture Corp. (Sanacor) took a momentous leap toward modernization by shifting to a solar-powered energy supply to maintain their operations.

The company equipped its shrimp farms in Sarangani, General Santos, with solar panels to cut costs by P800,000 monthly.

An app from Huawei is used to monitor the technological elements on the farm

The farm produces and harvests tons of shrimp daily, making their efforts more sustainable in the long run.

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While most solar panel installations are land-based, Sanacor maximized their available area in one of their shrimp farms by investing in a floating setup.

According to Greg Corruz Jr. of WeGen Energy Philippines, the installation required more plastic than metal components compared to its land-based counterparts because it has to be buoyant enough to float in the middle of the pond. It also has a different cooling system than the regular solar panel structures.

“Dahil doon sa effect ng water, tapos medyo magkakaroon ng konting breeze, ‘yung cooling effect niya mas nagiging efficient sa solar cells natin. Puwede natin sabihin na mas mataas siya ng konti kumpara sa normal installations natin (Because of the effect of water, then there will be a little breeze, its cooling effect becomes more efficient in our solar cells. We can say that he is a little higher compared to our normal installations),” Corruz told reporters.

Floating solar panels

In the meantime, the farm’s solar power operates on Huawei’s energy inverters for more efficient sun-to-energy conversion.

Huawei’s smart photovoltaic (PV) service manager, Jesus Calasara Jr., shared that the inverters convert the output from the panel into reusable energy, which the farm now relies on. But Huawei’s contribution to helping Sanacor shift to renewable energy doesn’t stop there.

Corruz shared that they use an app from Huawei to monitor the technological elements on the farm, including the solar panels and the inverter.

“Ang tawag dito is FusionSolar na kasama doon sa application once na ginamit mo ‘yung Huawei inverter. In real time malalaman mo ‘yung output ng solar capacity and ‘yung load demand na kailangan nila. Doon mo makikita kung gaano talaga ka-effective or gaano ka-kulang, kung meron man, ‘yung ating system (It is called FusionSolar which is included in the application once you have used the Huawei inverter. In real time you will know the output of the solar capacity and the load demand they need. That’s where you can see how effective or how lacking, if any, our system is),” Corruz said.

He added that this technology is also beneficial to developers like WeGen because they can monitor the maintenance of their installations remotely and foster collaboration within their community or company. It also allows them to look back at the problem, determine the underlying concerns, and learn from them.

Solar power has been a leading source of renewable energy in the Philippines, with many establishments, including private residences, switching to it because of its environment-friendly and cost-effective benefits.

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