Inculcating herbal plots as effective cooling mechanism in urban planning
This paper evokes the green economy concept through inculcating herbal plots under solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays in large scale area. Solar PV technology is deemed to be the most suitable renewable energy resources in agro-food industry. The continuously decreasing market prices in solar technologies are highlighted with strong effort by the Malaysian government through various policies. The 2MWp project has been in operation since January 2015 with the expected annual energy outcome reaching 5,840 MWh and RM 5.635 million energy sales under the Malaysia Feed-in-Tariff scheme. The carbon credit scheme from the PV operation at site is expected to produces a surplus of 2.9% out of the total energy sales. The main contribution of the study is the cultivation of cooling mechanism via herbal plots under each of the PV arrays. The herbal plant surrounding temperature is 0.85°C much lower as compared to the mid-air temperature thus effectively reducing the PV module temperature. This cooling approach is expected to increase the annual energy generation up to 2.77% which initiates handsome monetary benefits of RM 156 k year-1. The Agro-PV concept produces sufficient internal rate-of-returns (IRR) value of 13.51% with a reduction of one year for return-on-investment (ROI).
Othman, N.F., Ya'acob, M.E., Abdul-Rahim, A.S., Hizam, H., Farid, M.M. and Abd Aziz, S. 2017. Inculcating herbal plots as effective cooling mechanism in urban planning. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1152:235-242
solar farms, herbal crops cultivation, cleaner production, cooling mechanism, green urban infrastructure