Agrivoltaics

Agrivoltaics describes a process for the simultaneous use of agricultural land for food production and PV power generation. The technology enables the efficient dual use of agricultural land: photovoltaics on open spaces can be substantially expanded without significantly using up valuable resources of fertile arable land. Targeted light management optimizes the yields from PV and photosynthesis. In addition, value creation in the region and rural development are promoted, as agrivoltaic projects are ideally suited to be supported in a decentralized by farmers, municipalities and small and medium-sized enterprises. This results in new, economically viable farming options for agriculture.

We are working on the implementation and further development of agrivoltaics in industrial and research projects.

Strategy Development

Aₗ = agriculturally usable area, Aₙ =area not usable for agriculture, h₁ =clear height below 2.10 m, h₂ =light height above 2.10 m, 1 = Examples of solar modules, 2 = Elevation, 3 = Examples of agricultural crops.
© Fraunhofer ISE
Aₗ = Agriculturally usable area
Aₙ = Area not usable for agriculture
h₁ = Clearance height below 2.10 m
h₂ = Clearance height above 2.10 m
1 = Examples of solar modules
2 = Mounting structure
3 = Examples of agricultural crops.

Workshops and knowledge transfer

  • Presentation of the state of research and development on various sub-topics depending on the company's wishes and focus
  • Presentation and exchange of practical experience, e.g. with regard to agricultural management or dealing with the legal framework
  • Access to an e-learning platform

 

DIN SPEC 91434: technical and legal conformance assessment

  • Examination of existing agrivoltaic system designs for conformance with DIN SPEC 91434, taking into account the technical and - together with external partners - legal framework conditions (EEG, Direct Payment Implementation Ordinance as well as tax and building law)
  • Simulation of expected relative yield changes and estimation of area losses due to structural elements

 

GIS-supported potential analysis and site suitability analysis

  • Calculation of the agrivoltaic potential for different potential levels and identification of suitable sites for agrivoltaics
  • Consideration of framework conditions from regionally effective land use plans etc.

Site- Specific Feasibility

Agrivoltaics at the Kompetenzzentrum Obstbau Bodensee (KOB), in Bavendorf.
© Fraunhofer ISE
Agrivoltaics at the Kompetenzzentrum Obstbau Bodensee (KOB), in Bavendorf.
SunFarming and animal farming in Rathenow.
© Fraunhofer ISE
SunFarming and animal farming in Rathenow.

Agricultural analyses

  • Preliminary assessment and analysis of agricultural crops with regard to their suitability for cultivation in agrivoltaic systems
  • Research and evaluation of expected shading tolerances and estimation of expected synergy effects
  • Site and system-specific selection of suitable crops
  • Estimation of the agricultural yield
  • Checking the compatibility of the cultivation method with the agrivoltaic system

 

Light simulation / conceptual agrivoltaic design

  • Light simulations to estimate the availability of light for plant growth
  • Concept development of site-adapted system designs in accordance with DIN SPEC 91434
  • Evaluation and optimization of existing system designs

 

Technology assessments

  • Technical analysis of potentially suitable system solutions with regard to PV efficiency, operating and maintenance aspects, etc.
  • Evaluation of the techno-economic feasibility of the conceived system design for site and crop selection

 

PV yield forecast

  • Forecast of the expected PV yield of agrivoltaic systems
  • Consideration of the absolute annual system yield in kWh and system losses

 

Water management concepts

  • Creation of a water balance from precipitation and plant water requirements
  • Calculating the potential of rainwater collection systems and storage solutions
  • Pre-conception of an integrated irrigation system

Extended Analyses

Agrivoltaics prototype of Krinner Carport GmbH in the »HyPErFarm« project.
© Krinner Carport GmbH
Agrivoltaics prototype of Krinner Carport GmbH in the »HyPErFarm« project.

LCA analyses

  • Assessment of agrivoltaic systems in terms of potential environmental risks and ecological competitiveness
  • Analysis of material and energy flows and potential emissions throughout the life cycle of the system

 

Energy system integration

  • Development of approaches for integrating the agrivoltaic system into the farm's energy system, taking into account energy requirements and the integration of battery storage systems
  • Development of approaches to increase self-consumption of the generated energy to ensure the highest possible degree of self-sufficiency

 

Tracking systems

  • Concept development for plant-optimized PV module tracking
  • Techno-economic optimization of tracking schemes taking into account agricultural and electrical yields

Operation and Maintenance

Inverter of a model region system in Kressbronn on Lake Constance.
© Fraunhofer ISE
Inverter of a model region system in Kressbronn on Lake Constance.
Agrivoltaics in viticulture in Geisenheim.
© Hochschule Geisenheim University
Agrivoltaics in viticulture in Geisenheim.

Monitoring concepts

  • Development of measurement concepts and design of a sensor layout
  • Consideration of parameters to be measured at PV and plant level
  • Creation of a site plan for integrating the setup into the existing system

 

Sensor technology screening

  • Research into suitable sensor technologies for integration into the monitoring concept
  • Evaluation of the technologies with regard to the electrical output of the agrivoltaic system

More Information on this Topic:

 

Guideline

Agrivoltaics

Opportunities for Agriculture and the Energy Transition