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The overall aim of ORION is to develop an intelligent integrated framework for the use of organic photovoltaics (OPV) in the greenhouse industry. To achieve this, ORION will develop, test and evaluate innovative organic photovoltaic modules, which will be incorporated on top of the greenhouse roof or inside the greenhouse above the crop. Co-developing the same area of land for both photovoltaic electricity generation as well as for production of agricultural products (vegetables, fruits and flowers) is one of the main objectives of this study. This will significantly increase the efficiency of land use in rural areas. Furthermore, it will increase the use of renewable energy and reduce the use of fossil fuels that contribute to the production of greenhouse gasses.

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In parallel, ORION will develop a wireless sensor system for smart management of the whole system (crop, microclimate and energy from OPV) and a computational fluid dynamic code for extending, via simulations, the use and adoption of the proposed system in different greenhouse types, different areas and different crops. The project results will contribute to optimize the application of OPV in greenhouses. This should increase the sustainability of the greenhouse sector. The approach proposed for protected cultivation systems is a high-tech approach providing a solution to climate and energy challenges in Europe and other countries. Our highly efficient use of resources (energy) will increase the usability of greenhouses in hot and semi-hot regions (climate change adaptation actions). The project will advance the technological development of the most intensive branch of agricultural production (greenhouses). The participation, in the project, of universities, research institutes and industry, with experts from both the photovoltaic and agricultural sectors, provides a unique synergetic approach. Moreover, it will allow a faster dissemination of results to a wider audience.

Main objectives of the proposed ORION project are: 

1. Optimise OPV for plant growth in greenhouses 

2. Determine the feasibility of using OPV modules in a greenhouse environment (high humidity, high temperature, sprayed chemicals). 

3.Development of processes for the integration of OPV modules on the greenhouse roof and inside the greenhouse 

4.Determine the effect of shading and change in the spectrum of radiation transmitted into the greenhouse, due to the application of OPV modules on crop microclimate, yield, quality, water uptake by plants and disease development 

5. Increase energy efficiency of greenhouse production chain by integrating new cost effective and available renewable energy technologies, sustainable management and system optimization 

6. Assess the installed OPV in technical, economic and environmental aspects

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