Not just your ordinary greenhouse, the Carr Hall Garden greenhouse generates electricity to power its fans and lights year round. Solar cells on the roof capture green light to generate electricity, while the remaining light passes through the roof, into the greenhouse, and to the plants for photosynthesis.
The greenhouse is heated in the colder months by a pellet stove that burns pellets made from native switchgrass.
Tomatoes, lavender, rosemary, and cilantro are some of the crops recently grown in the greenhouse.
Currently, students taking the class “Small-scale Production Agriculture” and student gardeners utilize and maintain the space, but more gardeners and research projects are always welcome!
The greenhouse was built in 2017 as the result of several junior seminar classes and independent studies.
How the solar panels work…
There are special windows made of glass, red fluorescent dye, and thin strips of solar cells on the roof of the greenhouse. The glass and dye work together to concentrate green light onto the solar cells. The remaining colors of light pass through the roof to the plants below.