Agrivoltaics is a concept in which a piece of land is simultaneously used for both energy and food production by mounting photovoltaic modules at a certain height above (or in between strips of) agricultural land. A local and system-level incorporation of water management is imperative to the sustainable implementation of agrivoltaics. Water raining on the module can be gathered and used for distinct purposes: groundwater recharge, crop irrigation, and cleaning and cooling of the PV modules. This research provides an initial overview of positive and negative impacts for each water use concept and outlines issues that should be taken into consideration and the potential for research and development. Various Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) technologies are a way to clean and store the water periodically in an underlying aquifer. Irrigation increases yield within the plant level and therefore increases the system’s output. Thanks to the power supply generated by the PV modules, high-tech irrigation systems can be implemented in agrivoltaic systems; the special adaption of irrigation systems to agrivoltaics poses significant potential for research and development. Meanwhile, the necessity, i.e., profitability of cleaning and/ or cooling PV modules depends on local environment and economic factors. Several cleaning techniques have been developed to mitigate soiling, ranging from manual cleaning to fully automatic cleaning systems. In agrivoltaics systems, the soiling risk can increase. Semi-automatic systems seem to have the greatest potential for agrivoltaics, because they can be used with farming equipment. Multiple cooling techniques have been developed to decrease cell temperature to increase power output, with some of them involving water. Water flowing over the module surface is a promising a promising cooling technique for agrivoltaic applications. Attaching a perforated tube to the upper edge, the entire module can be covered in a thin film of water which cools very effectively (while also cleaning the surface). A closed-circuit system could be created involving the technical components used for rainwater harvesting. The economic feasibility of cooling panels in agrivoltaic systems needs to be investigated. In certain locations, rainwater-harvesting could also be relevant for ground-mounted PV systems.
Tag Archive for: solar irrigation
“Austin, Texas-based GivePower started by installing solar panels for schools, community centers or other projects in communities in need. But GivePower founder Hayes Bernard realized that people, especially women and girls, would not attend school if they had to walk 8 miles to get water every day. That’s when the idea to include water pumps and desalination came to mind.
GivePower has seven operational desalination sites in countries like Haiti, Kenya, and Colombia. Four additional solar water farms are expected to become operational by the end of this year. GivePower has different sized desalination sites and setups. The largest one, the Solar Water Farm Max, produces up to 18,500 gallons of water daily — enough to support 35,000 people. It has a solar structure that acts like a roof over the water tanks and the twenty-foot equivalent unit shipping containers that house the desalination technology.” – American Shipper
A new resource guide on decommissioning solar energy systems, written by AgriSolar Clearinghouse partner Heidi Kolbeck-Urlacher, offers resources for understanding solar project end-of-lifecycle management and recommendations for local governments to consider when drafting decommissioning ordinances. The report is now available through the Center for Rural Affairs here.
“Solar projects are often located in rural areas and can provide numerous benefits to nearby communities, including lease payments to landowners, tax revenue to fund infrastructure and services, and the creation of both permanent and temporary jobs. County officials are typically responsible for enacting siting or zoning standards to help ensure solar development is supported by local residents. This can include planning for the eventual decommissioning of energy projects that have reached the end of their life cycles.” – Center for Rural Affairs
The guide includes examples of decommissioning costs, extending performance periods of solar systems, recycling and disposal of solar panels, sample task lists associated with decommissioning solar systems, and recommendations for plans that define obligations of developers during the decommissioning process.
“Farms where fish and algae thrive under solar panels might have secured their place in a future powered by renewable energy. Concord New Energy, a Chinese company that specializes in wind and solar power project development and operation, has installed a 70 MW solar plant atop a fishpond in an industrial park in Cangzhou, China’s Hebei region. The hybrid system integrates solar power generation with fishery in a unique way that not only saves land but also produces clean energy. This hybrid system is straightforward: a solar array is installed above the fish pond’s water surface, and the water area beneath the solar array is used for fish and shrimp farming.
The fishery-solar hybrid system is a type of floating solar farm that has grown in popularity over the years as solar power has evolved to meet the needs of our increasingly climactic times. For example, the United States has just begun construction of the country’s biggest floating solar farm in New Jersey.” – Interesting Engineering
Valley Irrigation has announced the completion of its first North American agrisolar installation in Nebraska through its partnership with Farmers National Company.
“The installation is located near Davenport, Nebraska, and will provide solar power to a Valley center pivot by offsetting energy consumption used to irrigate the field. Farmers National Company’s landowner client invested in Tier 1 solar panels, which are the highest-quality panels and are also used on major utility-sized installations. They are built to withstand the often-harsh conditions of Nebraska weather, including strong winds and hail.” – Valmont
“Matt Gunderson is with Farmers National Company and says it helps producers become more sustainable and increase return on investment. “We create some on farm generation not only to power a farm, but how do we tie it back into the grid system to support the electricity needs that are out there? And, along the way with it, sell that electricity back for some excess needs and create some investment opportunities and income generation for producers.” – Brownfield
This report discusses the effects of solar radiation and total system head on techno-economics of a PV groundwater pumping irrigation system designed for sustainable agricultural production. The materials and methods of the study include crop water requirements, estimated pumping rates, estimations of PV-array ratings and solar charge controllers, and economic estimations of PV-pumping system(s). The results of the study also include an environmental impact analysis.
The study shows that installing a Photovoltaic Water Pumping System (PVWP) system represents the best technical and economic solution to drive a water pump that provides water for sprinkler irrigation. This application could be applied in AgriSolar operations that include sprinklers and agricultural land.
Irrigation helps grow agricultural crops in dry areas and during periods of inadequate rainfall. Proper irrigation could improve both crop productivity and produce quality. For high density apple orchards, water relations are even more important. Most irrigation in tree fruit orchards is applied based on grower’s experience or simple observations, which may lead to over- or under-irrigation. To investigate an effective irrigation strategy in high-density apple orchard, three irrigation methods were tested including soil moisture-based, evapotranspiration (ET)-based and conventional methods. In soil moisture-based irrigation, soil water content and soil water potential sensors were measured side by side. In ET-based irrigation, daily ET (ETc) and accumulated water deficit were calculated. Conventional method was based on the experience of the operator. The experiment was conducted from early June through middle of October (one growing season). Lastly, water consumption, fruit yield and fruit quality were analyzed for these irrigation strategies. Results indicated that the soil moisture-based irrigation used least water, with 10.8% and 4.8% less than ET-based and conventional methods, respectively. The yield from the rows with the soil moisture-based irrigation was slightly higher than the other two, while the fruit quality was similar. The outcome from this study proved the effectiveness of using soil moisture sensors for irrigation scheduling and could be an important step for future automatic irrigation system.
This paper presents solar-powered irrigation systems (SPIS) as a clean energy option for agriculture and rural electrification. Included is an overview of practice for SPISs, including how the sustainability of SPIS greatly depends on how water resources are managed.
This paper proposes a solution for the present energy crisis for Indian farmers. It introduces a system consisting of a solar-powered water pump along with an automatic water flow control using a moisture sensor. This system could be applied to AgriSolar operations that required water pumping for various applications on a farm operation.
This paper presents the design of a solar tracking system via LDR sensor values to harness maximum solar energy that is converted into electrical energy which in turn is used to power the irrigation system. This system can be applied in AgriSolar operations where irrigation systems are included.
This paper presents an approach to minimize the human interface for the agriculture sector, which provides comfort to the farmer in monitoring and performs automatic irrigation operation. The approach discussed here can be applied to AgriSolar operations and development requiring irrigation.