Tag Archive for: crops

This article discusses solar panel efficiency as a function of the location’s microclimate within which it is immersed. Researchers present a model for solar panel efficiency that incorporates the influence of the panel’s microclimate, derived from first principles and validated with field observations. The model proves that PV panel efficiency is influenced by insolation, air temperature, wind speed, and relative humidity. The researchers then classified solar power production potential based on local land cover classification and found that croplands have the greatest median solar potential. Agrivoltaic systems may alleviate land competition or other spatial constraints for solar power development, creating a significant opportunity for future energy sustainability.

This episode is a conversation between NCAT Energy Program Director Stacie Peterson and Iain Ward, a farmer and founder of Solar Agricultural Services.

It is the sixth in a series of AgriSolar Clearinghouse podcasts that are being featured on ATTRA’S Voices from the Field podcast.

Stacie and Iain discuss the potential of agrisolar as way to remove barriers to entry into farming, how agrisolar is shifting the solar industry to consider regenerative agriculture, practical considerations for getting started in agrisolar, Iain’s connection with Wendell Berry, and Wendell’s thoughts on co-locating solar and agriculture. 

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Contact Stacie Peterson at stacieb@ncat.org.

Please complete a brief survey to let us know your thoughts about the content of this podcast.

You can get in touch with NCAT/ATTRA specialists and find access to our trusted, practical sustainable-agriculture publications, webinars, videos, and other resources at ATTRA.NCAT.ORG.

This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) under the Solar Energy Technologies Office Award Number DE-EE000937. Legal Disclaimer: The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Department of Energy or the United States Government.

This episode features a conversation between Stacie Peterson, NCAT’s Energy Program Director and Manager of the AgriSolar Clearinghouse, and Pete Berthelsen, Executive Director of The Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund and President of Conservation Blueprint. 

It is the fourth in a series of AgriSolar Clearinghouse podcasts that are being featured on ATTRA’S Voices from the Field podcast.  

Pete and Stacie discuss the benefits of pollinator habitat at solar energy sites, pollinator habitat design, seed mixes, pollinator health and quality, and what anyone can do to help pollinators in their own backyard. 

AgriSolar Clearinghouse Resources: 

Other Resources: 

Contact Stacie Peterson at stacieb@ncat.org.   

Please complete a brief survey to let us know your thoughts about the content of this podcast.   

You can get in touch with NCAT/ATTRA specialists and find access to our trusted, practical sustainable-agriculture publications, webinars, videos, and other resources at ATTRA.NCAT.ORG.   

Learn about NCAT’s other innovative sustainable agriculture programs.   

This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) under the Solar Energy Technologies Office Award Number DE-EE000937. Legal Disclaimer: The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Department of Energy or the United States Government.  

This study evaluates green bean cultivation inside greenhouses with photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roof. Researchers found that the beans adapted to the change in shading by relocating more resources to the stems and leaves. As a result, average yield decreased compared to that of a conventional greenhouse. However, an economic trade-off between energy and crop yield can be achieved with a panel coverage of 10%. The research also provides an experimental framework that could be replicated and used as a decision support tool to identify other crops suitable for solar greenhouse cultivation.

This article examines current literature regarding the application of shading systems alongside crop production, with a focus on photovoltaic panels and greenhouse studies. After reviewing 113 articles, the authors conclude that most studies do justify the co-location of photovoltaic panels and crops. However, more crop-specific research is necessary to determine the optimum percentage of panels that will not reduce agriculture production.

Agrivoltaic (APV) systems have emerged as a promising solution to reduce the land-use competition between PV technology and agriculture. Despite its potential, APV is in a learning stage and it is still necessary to devote big efforts to investigate its actual potential and outdoor performance. This work is focused on the analysis of APV systems in agriculture greenhouses at global scale in terms of energy yield. In this study, a novel dual APV model is introduced, projected in four representative locations with a high crop cultivation greenhouse implantation, i.e. El Ejido (Spain), Pachino (Italy), Antalya (Turkey) and Vicente Guerrero (Mexico), and for 15 representative plant cultivars from 5 different important socioeconomic families of crops, i.e. Cucurbitaceae, Fabaceae, Solanacae, Poaceae, Rosaceae. At this stage, semi-transparent c-Si PV technology has been considered due its high efficiency and reliability. The results show that APV systems could have a transparency factor around 68% without significantly affecting the total crop photosynthetic rate. Taking this into account, APV systems would produce an average annual energy around 135 kWh/m2, and values around 200 kWh/m2 under a favorable scenario. This could represent a contribution to the total market share between 2.3% (Mexico) and 6% (Turkey), and up to 100% of the consumption demand of greenhouses equipped with heating and cooling (GSHP), and lighting.