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Solar Photovoltaic Architecture and Agronomic Management in Agrivoltaic System: A Review

Agrivoltaic systems (AVS) offer a symbiotic strategy for co-location sustainable renewable energy and agricultural production. This is particularly important in densely populated developing and developed countries, where renewable energy development is becoming more important; however, profitable farmland must be preserved. As emphasized in the Food-Energy-Water (FEW) nexus, AVS advancements should not only focus on energy management, but also agronomic management (crop and water management). The researchers critically review the important factors that influence the decision of energy management (solar PV architecture) and agronomic management in AV systems. The outcomes show that solar PV architecture and agronomic management advancements are reliant on (1) solar radiation qualities in term of light intensity and photosynthetically activate radiation (PAR), (2) AVS categories such as energy-centric, agricultural-centric, and agricultural-energy-centric, and (3) shareholder perspective (especially farmers). Next, several adjustments for crop selection and management are needed due to light limitation, microclimate condition beneath the solar structure, and solar structure constraints. More importantly, a systematic irrigation system is required to prevent damage to the solar panel structure. The advancements of AVS technologies should not only focus on energy management, but also food (agriculture) and water management, as these three factors are nexus domains. Since the management of agriculture (crop) and water are parts of agronomic management, future enhancements should emphasize the importance of balancing the two. The agronomic management in AV systems that requires improvement includes crop selection recommendations, improved crop management guidelines, and a systematic irrigation system that minimizes environmental impacts caused by excess water and subsequent agrichemical leaching that could affect the solar PV structure. In conclusion, the advancements of AVS technology are expected to reduce reliance on nonrenewable fuel sources and mitigate the effects of global warming, as well as addressing the food-energy-water nexus’s demands.