Climate change impacts, limited fossil fuel resources and escalating energy demand result in the use of clean and renewable energies such as solar thermal energy for sustainable agricultural production. In this study, the utilization of photovoltaic (PV) and photovoltaic/thermal (PV/T), which captures the remaining energy and removes waste heat from the PV module, is simulated by TRNSYS software as an alternative energy supplier in energy-environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) of greenhouse (GH) strawberry production in Alborz province, Iran. For this purpose, three scenarios, namely, present (Sc-1), PV (Sc-2) and PV/T (Sc-3) systems, are considered. Results show that the total input and output energy uses are examined to be 919250 and 142618.75 MJ ha−1, respectively, and diesel fuel with about 80% of the total energy usage is the most energy consuming input. Solar system simulation reveals 150 and 147 panels for PV and PV/T systems to supply energy, respectively. Environmental damages are investigated by IMPACT2002 + based on ten-ton of yield as the functional unit. LCA results indicate that diesel fuel and On-Farm emissions have most significant effects amongst damage categories in Sc-1. Moreover, applying solar technologies reduce total damage categories by about 16% and 6% in Sc-2 and Sc-3, respectively. The cumulative exergy demand (CExD) analysis indicates that diesel fuel is a significant portion of energy forms in Sc-1 and solar systems in Sc-2 and Sc-3 reduce the total CExD by about 50% and 33%, respectively compared to the Sc-1. Besides, Sc-2 with PV panels is the most energy-environmental-friendly scenario among them. It should be noted that Sc-3 has less efficiency compared to Sc-2 owing to additional equipment use and the temperate weather during the study. Finally, it can be concluded that trends of energy and environmental damage categories can be modified significantly by applying solar technologies.
- Life cycle assessment
- Solar system
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment