Solar photovoltaic energy for agricultural operations

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2017-01-01
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Hanna, H. Mark
Miller, Thomas
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Harmon, Jay
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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Since 1905, the Department of Agricultural Engineering, now the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE), has been a leader in providing engineering solutions to agricultural problems in the United States and the world. The department’s original mission was to mechanize agriculture. That mission has evolved to encompass a global view of the entire food production system–the wise management of natural resources in the production, processing, storage, handling, and use of food fiber and other biological products.

History
In 1905 Agricultural Engineering was recognized as a subdivision of the Department of Agronomy, and in 1907 it was recognized as a unique department. It was renamed the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering in 1990. The department merged with the Department of Industrial Education and Technology in 2004.

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1905–present

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  • Department of Agricultural Engineering (1907–1990)

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Abstract

The popularity of generating electricity from solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays is growing. Iowa is in the top third of states for harnessing energy from the sun. A combination of new technology, significantly increased production of arrays, and tax incentives have cut the installed cost of solar generation by more than 50 percent in the past several years and greatly changed the economics for those interested in solar. A primary motivating factor for solar installation is to offset electrical consumption and hedge against future costs, but an important secondary factor for some is a desire to "go green" by reducing their fossil fuel consumption.

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