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Combining PV and food crops to agrophotovoltaic - optimization of orientation and harvest

: Beck, M.; Bopp, G.; Goetzberger, A.; Obergfell, T.; Reise, C.; Schindele, S.

Fulltext urn:nbn:de:0011-n-2364770 (577 KByte PDF)
MD5 Fingerprint: 1ab17f7a3b8d692542fceb1edaf4f501
Created on: 12.4.2013

Nowak, S. ; European Commission:
27th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, EU PVSEC 2012. DVD-ROM : Proceedings of the international conference held in Frankfurt, Germany, 24 - 28 September 2012
München: WIP-Renewable Energies, 2012
ISBN: 3-936338-28-0
European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC) <27, 2012, Frankfurt>
Conference Paper, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer ISE ()
photovoltaisches Modul; System und Zuverlässigkeit; Qualitätssicherung PV Module; System und Kraftwerk

Presently ground mounted PV plants and food production are perceived to conflict with each other. This conflict can be resolved by the concept of Agrophotovoltaics (APV), the combination of PV and agriculture at the same plot. This concept has received little attention although it was proposed long ago. We started by investigating plant growth under existing PV installations and found that many species of natural plants grow quite well under these conditions. From those studies conclusions can be drawn which crops can be cultivated together with PV. Three categories could be identified: Crops that benefit from some shading, crops that are not much influenced and crops that depend on maximum irradiation and are not suitable for APV. We also developed a simulation program that calculates global radiation at ground level inside rows of modules. A major result was that the conventional installation towards south leads to persistent shade and uneven ripening of crops. A solution is to orient the arrays towards south east or south west. A preliminary experiment with salad was carried out confirming these results. The realizable potential for Germany in a conservative estimate was found to be 53 GW which is equal to the official goal for 2020. Much more potential can be expected for arid and semiarid regions.