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Ground Irradiance Modelling: of Key Importance for Designing Nature Inclusive Solar Parks and Agrivoltaics Systems
B.B. Van Aken, A. Binani, E. Barros, A.R. Burgers, F. van der Zee, A. Schotman, K. Cesar
PV Applications, Integration and Storage
Subtopic: PV in Infrastructure, on Water and on Vehicles; PV and Agriculture
Event: 38th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 6CV.4.42
1596 - 1600
ISBN: 3-936338-78-7
Paper DOI: 10.4229/EUPVSEC20212021-6CV.4.42
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper


Solar electricity from solar parks in rural areas are cost effective, can be deployed fast and can therefore play an important role in the energy transition. The optimal design of a solar park is, amongst others, affected by income scheme, electricity transport capacity and land lease costs. Important design parameters for utility-scale solar parks, that may affect landscape, biodiversity and soil quality, include ground coverage ratio, size and tilt of the PV tables. Particularly, low tilt PV at high coverage reduces the amount of sunlight on the ground strongly and leads to deterioration of the soil quality over the typical 25-year lifetime. In contrast, vertical PV or an agri-PV design fairly high above the ground leads to more and homogeneous ground irradiance; these designs are favoured for pastures and croplands. In general, the amount and distribution of ground irradiance and precipitation will strongly affect which crops can grow below and between the PV tables and whether this supports the associated food chain. As agrivoltaics is the direct competition between photosynthesis and photovoltaics. Understanding when, where and how much light reaches the ground is key to relate the agri-PV solar park design to the expected agricultural and electricity yields.