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Investigations on Agrophotovoltaic System Using Different Crops with Special Attention on the Improved Electrical Output

Rahul Waghmare, Ravindra Jilte, Sandeep Joshi


In an Agrophotovoltaic (APV) system, the same plot of land is used for both agriculture and power production. APV systems are currently being investigated for thermal control of solar PV modules using natural transpiration cooling by cultivated crops. The current research focuses on the experimental studies on a 1 kWp APV and 1 kWp reference system with two different crops cultivated beneath the solar PV modules; an experimental setup was designed and built in Nagpur, India. Two crops, Spinacia oleracea and Solanum lycopersicum (Spinach and Tomato, respectively), were grown below 50% of PV modules, and the thermal and electrical performance of the solar plant was investigated as an APV system. The performance of this APV system was compared with the remaining 50% of PV installation. During this study, the effect of crop height on the performance of the solar plant was also investigated. According to the experiments, the temperature of the solar PV modules in the APV system with Tomato and Spinach was reduced by about 5 °C and 6 °C, respectively, when compared to a reference solar PV system. Additionally, the power plant's production is higher when there is less space between the solar PV module and the crop. To predict the performance of the APV system for any given location and for any given crops a systematic analytical procedure has been formulated. This experimental study shows that for the spinach and tomato crops, a 1 MW APV system would produce 169200 kWh and 187500 kWh more electricity yearly than a reference solar PV plant, respectively. Additionally, the same piece of land would give a comparable crop yield along with improved power generation.


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DOI: 10.14416/j.asep.2023.09.007


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