Indoor Farming Energy Recovery System

Using solar panels to recover and reuse ambient light from indoor farming.

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There are lots of good reasons that indoor farming is becoming more popular all the time. Between unpredictable weather, climate change, increased problems from pests, and the costs involved in large spaces and long distance transport, indoor farming looks increasingly appealing. It’s a great solution for small plants, leafy greens that are easily damaged by predation, and high value crops like cannabis. But it does come with a large amount of power usage.

My concept here is to create a moving wall of solar panels that can be located adjacent to indoor plant lighting to reclaim the spillover light, in this case for a battery charger, though it wouldn’t have to be. In some indoor farms the dc current could be looped back into the power system directly, if that was what was powering the lighting.

If my math checks out, it should provide a reasonable return on investment in pure dollars, and even greater return from the value of diverting power usage from carbon based electric grids.

I’ve planned out my first test circuit for doing it, and I’ve already successfully charged a battery under my own grow lights using a very poorly constructed sample. It’s now a matter of figuring out how to scale it and make the best use of the power it produces. This concept could easily be built into plant cabinets that are become trendy in home design as well.


First draft solar circuit.

JPEG Image - 87.64 kB - 05/01/2022 at 05:25


  • 1 × 17v Solar Panel
  • 1 × LM317 Voltage Regulator
  • 1 × 1n4007 Diode
  • 1 × 3A, 50v Shottky Diode
  • 1 × 2k Pot

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  • Form factor ideas for the solar panels

    technoplastique05/01/2022 at 05:35 0 comments

    At the moment, I think a simple rolling panel would be ideal for most of the vertically stacked common style indoor farms. This would allow the panels to be moved to the most advantageous location - probably near the youngest plants - to collect the most unused energy.

    For my own test, though, I would really like to set up an enclosed plant cabinet with solar panels in the non-glass sides to collect any spillover lighting. Using the energy generated to power data logging sensors to track plant growth and conditions would be an ideal use for my situation, my test so far should be able to easily power a low usage scenario like that.

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