Solar-Suitable Crops

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Design and analysis of a tracking / backtracking strategy for PV plants
with horizontal trackers after their conversion to agrivoltaic plants

World population growth is leading to an increased demand for energy and food. This is creating a conflict over land use as terrain for large renewable energy facilities is not available for agricultural. As a solution, agrivoltaics combines the use of the land for agricultural and photovoltaic exploitation. In this work, the conversion of photovoltaic installations with N-S horizontal trackers into agrivoltaic installations by cultivating tree crops in hedgerows between the rows of collectors is analyzed. Specifically, the shading of the crop on the photovoltaic panels is studied. It has been proved that there is an area between the collectors in which the crop would not shade the photovoltaic panels. Likewise, a new tracking/backtracking strategy is proposed to avoid shading in cases where the crop exceeds this region of no influence. Finally, it has been found that the Land Equivalent Ratio for an agrivoltaic plant in Cordoba (Spain) with N-S horizontal trackers and olive groves in hedges up to 3.0 m high and 1.5 m wide can increase between 28.9% and 47.2%. Thus, these PV installations are potentially adaptable to agrivoltaic installations making renewable energy facilities compatible with a more efficient and sustainable agricultural model.
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Impact of an Agriphotovoltaic System on Metabolites and the
Sensorial Quality of Cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata)
and Its High-Temperature-Extracted Juice

To date, the impacts of agriphotovoltaic (APV) condition on the production yield of crop have been studied; however, the effect of APV production on the sensorial quality and consumer acceptability of the produce remains unexplored. Therefore, to address this knowledge gap, we cultivated “Winter Storm” cabbage under solar panels and in open field in 2020. The weight and diameter reduction rate of fresh cabbage grown under APV condition compared to open field conditions were 9.7% and 1.2%, respectively. The levels of glucosinolates and their hydrolysis products were not significantly different in the fresh cabbage between the two conditions. The amount of volatile organic compounds, which may affect the perception of smell, were significantly higher in the cabbage juice prepared from the ones grown in open-field conditions than in the juice prepared from cabbages grown under APV conditions. However, untrained subjects could not distinguish the difference in the quality of the 2 sets of cabbage juices in the triangle test. Regardless of the distinguishing features of color, aroma, and taste, the subjects did not have any preference between the two different cabbage juices.
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Lettuce Production under Mini-PV Modules Arranged in Pattern Designs

The growing need for clean energy and food production are favoring the use of underused spaces, such as rooftops. This study aims to demonstrate the compatibility of the use of rooftops both for the production of photovoltaic energy and for the production of food, despite the fact that both compete for the same resource, sunlight (rooftop agrivoltaic). The results show that in these environmental conditions, the cultivation of plants that demand little sunlight, such as lettuce, is compatible with the shading produced by photovoltaic panels.
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The Effect of Gap Spacing Between Solar Panel Clusters on Crop Biomass Yields, Nutrients, and the Microenvironment in a Dual-Use Agrivoltaic System

This thesis examines the crop outputs for Swiss chard, kale, pepper, and broccoli in an agrisolar system with different gap spacings between solar panel clusters. It concludes that the biomass crop yields of agrisolar plots are restricted significantly for Swiss chard, kale, or pepper compared against the full-sun control plot yields but not for broccoli stem and leaf yields.
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Solar Sharing for Both Food and Clean Energy Production: Performance of Agrivoltaic Systems for Corn, A Typical Shade-Intolerant Crop

This article concerns research conducted at a 100-m2 experimental farm with three sub-configurations: no modules (control), low module density, and high module density. In each configuration, 9 stalks/m2 were planted 0.5 m apart. The biomass of corn stover grown in the low-density configuration was larger than that of the control configuration by 4.9%. Also, the corn yield per square meter of the low-density configuration was larger than that of the control by 5.6%. 
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Solar Photovoltaic Architecture and Agronomic Management in Agrivoltaic System: A Review

This article reviews factors that influence solar PV and agronomic management in agrisolar systems. The authors conclude that several adjustments for crop selection and management are needed due to light limitation, microclimate condition beneath the solar structure, and solar structure constraints. The authors also conclude that a systematic irrigation system is required to prevent damage to the solar panel structure. 
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Semi-Transparent Organic Photovoltaics Applied as Greenhouse Shade for Spring and Summer Tomato Production in Arid Climate

This study investigates the effects of semi-transparent, wavelength-selective OPV solar on a greenhouse tomato crop in the arid southwestern U.S. This study demonstrates that the use of semi-transparent OPVs as a seasonal shade element for greenhouse production in a high-light region is feasible. However, a higher transmission of PAR and greater OPV device efficiency and durability could make OPV shades more economically viable, providing a desirable solution for co-located greenhouse crop production and renewable energy generation in hot and high-light intensity regions.
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Agrivoltaics Provide Mutual Benefits Across the Food-Energy-Water Nexus in Drylands

This study investigates a hybrid of co-located agriculture and solar photovoltaic (PV) infrastructure by monitoring micro-climatic conditions, PV panel temperature, soil moisture and irrigation water use, plant eco-physiological function and plant biomass production within a agrivoltaic ecosystem and in traditional PV installations and agricultural settings to quantify trade-offs. Authors find that shading by the PV panels provides multiple additive and synergistic benefits, including reduced plant drought stress, greater food production and reduced PV panel heat stress. 
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Application of Photovoltaic Systems for Agriculture: A Study on the Relationship between Power Generation and Farming for the Improvement of Photovoltaic Applications in Agriculture

This articles includes research findings of a study conducted on grapes that were cultivated on land that was divided into six sections: three with photovoltaic panels and three without. The study did not find a difference in grape growth but did find a slight slowing of grape growth under the solar panels. The sugar content was slightly higher in the experiment group. 
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Agrivoltaic System Impacts on Microclimate and Yield of Different Crops Within an Organic Crop Rotation in a Temperate Climate

The article concerns changes in microclimatic conditions in an agrisolar system within an organic crop rotation. Crops include celeriac, winter wheat, potato, and grass-clover cultivated both underneath solar PV panels system and on an adjacent reference site without solar panels. Alteration in microclimatic conditions and crop production under solar PV was confirmed including reduced photosynthetic active radiation, soil temperature, soil moisture, and air temperatures.