Energy-producing fabrics have been popular in urban environments, where they cover parking structures and even sides of buildings. The U.S. military uses them to generate power in mobile and remote conditions. Soon photovoltaic fabrics may find their way onto the farm.
Jason Owen says Accu-Steel Fabric-Covered Building Solutions has been developing relationships with companies that manufacture photovoltaic fabrics. The company has installed buildings with panels for low-use requirements like security lights, but nothing large enough to run equipment.
Gideon Cohn of Gidco Ag Design & Consulting, Jeremy Calhoun of Calhoun Super Structures Ltd., Joe Teixeira of ClearSpan Fabric Structures and Ben Fox of Legacy Building Solutions all say they are interested in energy-generating fabrics and view it as something on their radar.
“We are definitely keeping our eyes on that technology,” Fox says. “We are very much paying attention.”