15 agrovoltaics explained

Solar Panels Plus Farming Agrivoltaics Explained

This video is brought to you by all my great patrons at patreon.com/matt. Farrell, we’ve a world population expected to grow by 1.2 billion people within 15 years, coupled with the growing demand for meat, eggs and dairy, which soak up over 70% of freshwater for crops, plus electricity demand that’s growing even faster than the population growth. What are we supposed to do about all that? Well, we combine two of my favorite things, technology and food, both of which I’ve been accused of having too much of, but combining solar panels plus farming be a viable solution to all of those problems. Let’s take a closer look at electrifying our crops, not literally electrifying our crops. Let’s take a closer look at adding solar to our farmland as well some of the side benefits and challenges that it creates. I met Farrell Welcome to undecided. https://keeganqgwnd.ttblogs.com/19222429/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

The problem with solar panels is that they need a lot of space to generate a serious amount of electricity. agricole Tech’s are APV for short, combines agriculture with electricity generation by farming under a canopy of solar panels. And there’s some really interesting recent examples that make a compelling case for it. Before getting into that it’s a good idea to understand the challenges around solar parks in general. https://archerjeysl.blog-gold.com/19600686/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

And some of the solutions that have been developed, as solar parks in rural areas have been around for almost two decades. The major problem with this type of solar installation is that the ground beneath panels can’t be used, mainly do the small amount of space between the rows of panels which aren’t large enough for modern farming equipment to pass through. Now it is possible to convert a typical solar park into dual land use when it’s designated as a living area for grazing by small livestock like chicken geese and sheep, as well as for beekeeping. These animals are beneficial to solar farms because they reduce the cost of maintaining vegetation growth and don’t introduce any risk to the panel’s themselves. https://johnnylgbvp.bloggerbags.com/19018369/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

The same can’t be said of something a bit larger like pigs, goats, horses or cattle. It’s a known fact that cattle hate solar panels. And when more space is allowed between the solar panel rows crops can be grown there. However, the space beneath the panels still isn’t usable and needs to be maintained. This is considered alternating land use instead of dual land use because there are areas of the land that are one or the other, not both solar and crops at the same time. https://halide06283.ambien-blog.com/19564041/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

The land between the rows will be shaded during some hours of the day, meaning you’re altering the characteristics of the land and the types of crops that can be grown there. So what if we started to go vertical with our solar panels, that’s where we start to get some interesting alternatives to standard ground mounted solar park style installations. Using vertically mounted bifacial modules allows for more arable land. If you don’t know what bifacial solar panels are, they can collect solar energy from both sides of the panel. https://paxtongzhdw.bloggosite.com/19582491/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

This type of installation would work particularly well in areas that suffer from wind erosion. Since structures reduce the wind speeds, which can help protect the land and the crops that are grown there. The bifacial panels can also generate more power per square meter than traditional single face panels and don’t require any moving parts. Then there’s also the option of mounting panels on stilts, which allows farming machinery to pass underneath. In this design, you have to maintain a certain clearance between the rows to protect the stilts from the machinery. So there’s still a modest arable land surface loss, which is usually about three to 10%. https://fixture28405.blogrelation.com/19499907/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

Many variations on this theme are currently under active research, and instead of fixed panel mounting panels can be mounted with actuators. It allows the panels to tilt in one or two directions, which allows for both solar energy and plant growth optimization. This can be very important for some crops during the initial stages of growth. But what about growing crops under the elevated panels, you think that the solar panels casting shade on plants would be a bad thing, but the way photosynthesis works makes things a little bit interesting. Plants grow their mass out of co2 with the help of sunlight, they literally are growing from the air, but not all available sunlight can be converted into biomass. https://landenpkeyt.bloggerswise.com/19514903/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

After a certain threshold which is called the light saturation point plants can’t absorb any more energy, so they need to get rid of that excess energy by evaporating water. If we oversimplify this, we can divide the plants into two groups. The I’ll have my late supersized plants and the Can I order my late off the kids many plants. That group the so called shade plants are particularly useful in combination with solar panels. https://andresupjey.blog-a-story.com/19577994/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

Since the panel’s obviously block some of the available sunlight. Now sun plants are sometimes referred to as shade and tolerant plants, which makes them sound like jerks. But this is a slight misnomer since these plants just require more sunlight than shade plants, but they can also suffer from too much sunlight. When our any plant reaches their threshold. They can suffer from sunburn and heat stress just like me, causing increased amounts of water evaporation, just like me. https://100wattled95062.vblogetin.com/19159379/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

Now according to a report from the German Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy, nearly all crops can be cultivated under solar panels, but there may be some yield loss during the less sunny seasons for Sun hungry plants. And there were solar project conducted between 2016 and 2018. In the German area of Lake Constance, or the Bodensee, as the Germans call it. They demonstrated that during the relatively wet and cold the year in 2016 APV crop yields were 25% less than the non solar reference field, but in the dry and hot year As of 2017, and 2018, the HPV crops yield that exceeded the reference field. That’s a sign that HPV could be a game changer in hot and arid regions. https://e12bulb31739.blogadvize.com/19622255/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

And the amount of experience with agriculture takes is still fairly limited in the big successes have been mainly done with shade tolerant crops like lettuce, spinach, potatoes and tomatoes. Which leads us to some of the super promising examples that make a compelling case for agri Voltex. And before I get to that, I want to give a quick shout out to today’s sponsor, me. Seriously though, be sure to check out the follow up podcast based on your feedback and comments to these videos. It’s called still to be determined, which you can find on all the major podcast services that are out there, or at still tbd.fm as well as a video version that’s here on YouTube. https://kamerontmfyr.loginblogin.com/19659091/how-much-does-a-solar-tile-roof-cost

I’ll put links in the description if case you want to listen to it or watch it. And it’s a fun way to continue the discussion on all of these topics. Now let’s switch over to the Netherlands. Tiny as it is, it’s the second largest exporter of food in the world. The company currently even a subsidiary of the baywalk group, which is headquartered in Munich, Germany has started several pilot projects with local fruit farmers. Their largest site is in the village of Barbary in the east of the Netherlands, which is close to the German border at a large four hectare raspberry farm, which is about 10 acres for those of us nonmetric. http://www.dwmbeancounter.com/QA/index.php?qa=user&qa_1=sidemirror03

They’ve converted three hectares into a two megawatt agricole takes farm. The remaining part was left in a traditional farming setup. Raspberries are fragile, shade tolerant fruits that typically grown rose covered with plastic to help protect them from the elements and ensure a high yield. In this project, the raspberry plants were grown directly under the solar panels, which had been placed in alternating rows facing east and west. https://wacowla.com/chineseclassifieds/author/hubcapedger10/

This maximizes the solar yield, but also protects the plants from the prevailing winds. They did test traditional solar panels in this project, but they took away too much of the available sunlight, so they switched to panels with a larger spacing between the solar cells to let more of the light through. The amount and quality of the fruit produced under the panel’s was the same or better as the fruit that was produced under the traditional plastic tunnels. One big benefit for the farmer was the amount of work save for managing those plastic tunnels, which are easily damaged by hail and summer storms. And those cases, fruits might become unsellable from the damage, but they still have to be harvested anyway. During the last summer storms, the fruits of the panels didn’t sustain any damage, or the harvest from the reference field was destroyed. http://16thstreetmalldenver.com/forums/users/nodedoctor81/

Another major difference between the agro voltaic test field and the reference field, the temperature was several degrees cooler under the solar panels. Not only is it more pleasant for the farm workers, but it also reduced the amount of irrigation water by 50% compared to the reference field. Even cooler is how the crops affect the solar panels. The crops and their limited water evaporation actually keep the panel’s cool. Solar panels actually don’t like the heat since it reduces their energy efficiency. The cooler a panel can be, the more energy it will provide. So just based on that agricole takes appears to be a winning strategy. https://www.aacc21stcenturycenter.org/forums/users/roseengine85/

If we were to convert even a fraction of our current agricultural land into agriculture takes a large portion of our energy needs can be met pretty easily. And with these added benefits and reduce water consumption, agricole takes could be a game changer in hot and arid regions of the world. So what’s keeping us from rolling out this dual purpose and Game Changing system at a massive scale? What’s the catch? There’s always a catch. Energy production is a different ballgame from agriculture, which can slow down farmers from embracing the technology. But the actual obstacles are sadly mundane, and some frustrating. https://www.usme.com.co/inmuebles/author/grillshovel76/

It boils down to the not in my backyard effect or the NIMBY effect bureaucracy and the free market. So let’s start with the NIMBY crowd. Not all renewable energy solutions are receiving a warm reception. Prime example is obviously the sights and sounds of giant wind turbines in the vicinity of your home. Community. pushback from the residents of Reno County and Kansas killed the proposed next era energy wind farm. Also an agriculture there are examples where current laws enabled building giant biogas plants that weren’t always welcomed by the local community. No matter the reason behind the community outrage and the pushback. https://www.supratraderonline.com/author/repairdoctor58/

It’s this type of reaction has killed or delayed many projects, as well as made many local governments gun shy and pushing them forward. So in order to prevent communities turning against agricole ticks, it’s important to control it spread, especially pseudo Agra Voltex, which is a practice of building large solar farms under the guise of agriculture and protecting the people’s interest. It helps build community support, which is essential. The Fraunhofer Institute recommends that one agriculture takes should be deployed mainly where synergistic effects can be achieved, for instance, by reducing the water demand from crop production. https://scppfussball.de/forums/users/areagong23/edit

And number two, to maintain proper local support agro voltaic systems should be preferably operated by local farms, energy cooperatives or regional investors. With these guidelines in mind, community resistance against agricole tax can be kept to a minimum. Next, our rules, regulations and bureaucracy that can also hold everything back, which varies from country to country or even from city to city. As part of its agricultural policy, the EU grants direct payments for land use primarily for agriculture. So an important question is whether farmland loses its eligibility for financial support. Due to the use of equitable tax, whether the land is mostly used for agricultural purposes is decisive here. https://www.turismobr.com/respuestas/user/fearkaren49

In the EU agricultural systems are usually considered to be a physical structure in terms of the building regulation laws, so they need a building permit. In Germany, for instance, it’s usually prohibited in rural areas unless it doesn’t conflict with a list of public interests. agricole ticks, however, is not on that list of public interests yet. And lastly, and maybe most important is the free market, which is pretty easy to wrap your head around, because it all comes down to costs and investment. Just like putting solar on your home. http://www.be2concept.be/index.php?qa=user&qa_1=llamadoctor78

The big number to look at is the cost per kilowatt hour. Because agricole take solar doesn’t yield as much energy per square meter compared to traditional solar park. On top of the construction costs, the cost per kilowatt hour can be about 10 to 20%, higher. And then there’s the big question of who owns the solar panels. In the Dutch example, the farmer wasn’t the investor or owner of the installation, a farmer’s willingness to participate all comes down to avoiding negative impacts on the crop yield and having lower operational costs from the solar panels. In this case, the solar array owner was able to demonstrate those benefits. https://qa.fisip-unmul.ac.id/site/index.php?qa=user&qa_1=clubgarage80

The Fraunhofer Institute found that the farmers are only willing to engage in a project if the crop yield never falls below 80% of the reference field. But that’s only if the farmer owns the solar array. That’s because the farmer can make up the crop shortfall from the energy produced. That also raises the question if they own the array. How are they going to optimize the solar panels for solar energy production or for crop yield? For the highest energy production per square meter solar parks went out? For the highest guaranteed crop production, dedicated farming wins out, it all comes down to costs and investments. without government intervention through subsidies or price guarantees, agricole takes may not stand a chance against other solar initiatives, agricole takes is a very promising concept that has the potential to kill two birds with one stone, helping our food supply and transitioning us to cleaner energy sources. The main benefit comes from the fact that solar panels are great at reducing greenhouse gas emissions without sacrificing arable land, especially to convert that land that’s currently being used to grow biofuel crops like palm oil and corn farms, and to land for actual human food production and consumption. Or even reforestation. That would be a huge win. Dave Borlase over the Just have a think YouTube channel created an incredible introductory video on the agri Voltex concept as well. So be sure to check out his video too. But what do you think? Should we be trying to use agricole takes everywhere? Are there any other dual use renewable energy examples that you know about? Jump into the comments? Let me know. And special thanks to Patreon producer Rob VanderWaal for helping to pull this script together. Thank you, Rob. And thanks to all my Patrons for helping to make these videos possible. If you liked this video, be sure to check out one of the ones I have linked to right here. Be sure to subscribe and hit that notification bell if you think I’ve earned it. Thanks so much for watching. I’ll see in the next one..

Our Previous & Other Posts in these series:

  1. https://vanilla.energy/news/2022/12/13/9kw-diy-home-solar-panel-system-installation-start-to-finish/
  2. https://vanilla.energy/news/2022/12/13/how-much-can-solar-panels-save-you-in-the-uk/
  3. https://vanilla.energy/news/2022/12/13/what-if-all-houses-were-covered-with-solar-panels/
  4. https://vanilla.energy/news/2022/12/13/best-solar-generator-for-2023-the-ultimate-guide/
  5. https://vanilla.energy/news/2022/12/13/solar-panels-plus-farming-agrivoltaics-explained/
  6. https://vanilla.energy/news/2022/12/13/what-tesla-solar-wont-tell-you-unless-you-ask/
  7. https://vanilla.energy/news/2022/12/12/bifacial-solar-panels-the-best-solar-panel-real-world-results/
  8. https://vanilla.energy/news/2022/12/12/how-green-is-solar-energy-really/
  9. https://vanilla.energy/news/2022/12/11/insane-rooftop-wind-turbine-halves-solar-panel-costs/
  10. https://vanilla.energy/news/2022/12/08/the-truth-about-solar-panels/






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