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  • CP&A Staff

CP&A provides engineering expertise for solar array project

Casper, Phillips & Associates (CP&A) has been hired by SolAgra Corporation for its structural engineering expertise for two agri-voltaic solar arrays that will be built at two University of Delaware campuses in Newark and Georgetown, Delaware to study solar power production on farmland.  SolAgra plans to build and launch the solar arrays for the 2024 growing season.  The University of Delaware, College of Agriculture will plant test crops beneath the solar arrays and identical control crops on adjacent areas in full sunlight and then compare crop quality and biomass to relate the success of crops grown under the solar arrays to the control crops that are grown in full sunlight.

The technology that makes agrivoltaics work by providing DynamicShifting™ and CounterTracking™ of elevated solar arrays to support the dual use of farmland.
Crop Shading

 SolAgra Corporation is principally owned by Barry Sgarrella, its CEO/President. SolAgra is a solar firm that specializes in the development and EPC of Solar Energy projects, focusing on agrivoltaics (the development of dual land use farming using patented elevated photovoltaic (PV) solar arrays to produce green energy on farmland while simultaneously sustaining or improving the quality of crops being grown beneath the solar arrays and reducing the irrigation water requirements to successfully grow crops.  SolAgra calls its patented technology SolAgra Farming™.

 

Sgarrella is the holder of U.S. Patents that protect SolAgra Farming. The technology that makes agrivoltaics work by providing DynamicShifting™ and CounterTracking™ of elevated solar arrays to support the dual use of farmland.

He is also the inventor of the SolAgra Water Solution, which can solve the ongoing and seemingly continuous California drought using SolAgra solar power to drive a huge brackish water desalination plant that can be built at the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers on Sherman Island in the California Delta.

 

Solar array can shift and tilt to optimize sun exposure.
Kinetic Solar Array

Richard L. Phillips, Mechanical Engineer, CP&A, which specialises in crane engineering, structural engineering, custom software and other specialist services for ports and heavy-duty environments, said it's interesting to break out from the norm and do something that someone hasn't really done before, and solve different problems.

 

“SolAgra has developed this patented design which allows solar panels and crops to share the solar resources on the same unit of land. We do this by using a combination of patented tracking and light passage technologies, created by the SolAgra Solar Platform™, SunSharing™, SunShading™, CounterTracking™ and DynamicShifting™. When combined, using real-time variable computer-controlled tracking algorithms, these technologies allow crops to get all sun that they need, while the solar panels above generate electricity. The solar panels will be mounted on arrays that are 10-16 feet above the ground to allow for large modern farm equipment to pass beneath,” said Phillips.

 

“CP&A is sizing the beams, developing the loads for the geographic location and overseeing the installation with plans for more projects in the future. We've created a template where we can enter geological data quickly then automatically generate more environmental loads.” CP&A is using this template to do the analysis and design for two larger SolAgra Farming projects in California that will prove SolAgra Farming can be used for growing wine grapes and Rainier cherries.

 

Sgarrella has a long-standing history with CP&A as he previously worked with founders Bill Casper and Rich Phillips before they retired.

 

“Barry came to us because he had worked with my father and needed help with the solar array designs as they don’t fit the standard code of structural analysis. He came up with the idea, got it patented and now we're helping him do the engineering work,” said Phillips.

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