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Abstract

The most efficient use of solar energy on farms is space heating and cooling of livestock buildings, drying crops, and heating farm homes. Low-cost, homemade solar collectors, having multiple uses and a payback of less than 5 years, are the most popular systems. In contrast, most commercially produced systems are still too expensive for agricultural uses, partly because they fail to qualify for tax credits as large as those allowed for residential uses. The solar industry has shown little interest in marketing the low-cost technologies specifically developed for agriculture.

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