PV Design and Racking System Options

Agrisolar Clearinghouse Icon

Comparative analysis of PV configurations for agrivoltaic systems in Europe

This paper is an analysis of three different agrivoltaic configurations: static with optimal tilt, vertically-mounted bifacial, and single-axis horizontal tracking. A model is also developed to calculate the shadowing losses on the PV panels along with the reduced solar irradiation reaching the area under them for different PV capacity densities.
Agrisolar Clearinghouse Icon

Energetic Comparison of Vertical Bifacial to Tilted Monofacial Solar

In this article, a vertical bifacial + reflector configuration is presented as a candidate for solar canals and other applications that allow dual use of the land. Modeling with weather data from Merced, CA shows output to be competitive with fixed 20° tilt systems, with south-facing vertical orientation showing 117% and 87% of annual output of south-facing 20° systems with and without a reflector, respectively. Repetition with weather data from Houston, Denver, and Miami produces similar results, with values ranging from 112%–121% and 82%–94%, which serve as conservative estimates due to lack of modeled soiling on tilted systems in the latter comparison. South-facing vertical orientations have better performance in nonsummer months relative to other systems, resulting in a flatter seasonal curve, with useful implications for load balancing and energy storage. East- and west-facing vertical orientations outperform their fixed tilt defaults, even without a reflector, and tolerate higher dc/ac inverter ratios than similar south-facing vertical orientations before appreciable clipping effects are seen.
Agrisolar Clearinghouse Icon

Agrivoltaic Engineering and Layout Optimization Approaches
in the Transition to Renewable Energy Technologies: A Review

This resource shows that agrivoltaics have the potential to benefit both crop yield and photovoltaic efficiencies. Innovative engineering technologies related to photovoltaic tracking along with new generation photovoltaic cells were reviewed to determine the factors that influence optimization in agrivoltaic systems. The review also investigates the last five years of research in agrivoltaic optimization and implications of future AV developments.
Agrisolar Clearinghouse Icon

Open-Source Design and Economics of Manual Variable-Tilt Angle DIY Wood-Based Solar Photovoltaic Racking System

Fixed-tilt mechanical racking, consisting of proprietary aluminum extrusions, can dominate the capital costs of small-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Recent design research has shown that wood-racking can decrease the capital costs of small systems by more than 75% in North America. To determine if wood racking provides enough savings to enable labor to be exchanged profitably for higher solar electric output, this article develops a novel variable tilt angle open-source wood-based do-it-yourself (DIY) PV rack that can be built and adjusted at exceptionally low costs. A detailed levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) production analysis is performed after the optimal monthly tilt angles are determined for a range of latitudes. The results show the racking systems with an optimal variable seasonal tilt angle have the best lifetime energy production, with 5.2% more energy generated compared to the fixed-tilt system. Both fixed and variable wooden racking systems show similar LCOE, which is only 29% of the LCOE of commercial metal racking.
Agrisolar Clearinghouse Icon

Tunable Photovoltaics: Adapting Solar Cell Technologies to Versatile Applications

This report discusses the main principles of different tuning approaches in customizable photovoltaic designs and provides an overview of relevant concepts of tunable SC technologies. The report provides a systematic analysis addressing photovoltaic materials, electrode layers, optical structures, substrates and encapsulates. Also included is a summary of integrations of cutting-edge tunable PV adapted to versatile applications, current challenges, and insightful perspectives into potential future opportunities for tunable PV systems.