What are agrivoltaic panels and how they help you

What comes to mind when you think of agrivoltaics? It’s a combination of agriculture and photovoltaic panels, of course. They are a solution for today, as global warming and lack of rainfall are taking their toll on nature, and farmers are unfortunately often desperate.

What are agrivoltaics?

First, it is important to know that this concept has been around since 1981, when it was created by two innovative German physicists – Adolf Goetzberger and Armin Zastrow. However, it is only since 2011 that we have been using the term ‘agrivoltaics’, which is currently on the rise.

Also known as APV – agriculture photovoltaics, agrivoltaics is a modern technology that allows agriculture and solar photovoltaic panels to work well together. How does this happen? Simply by mounting the solar panels at a higher altitude above the crops.

This will allow fruit and vegetables to grow harmoniously, while the agricultural machinery will be able to do its job without any problems. The ultimate advantage is that the plants will have unrestricted access to light, while being protected with shade during the hours when the sun is strongest and can “fry” them.

How do agricultural solar panels or agrivoltaics actually help you?

It can be said that photovoltaic panels and fruit and vegetable crops support each other so that the harvests are superlative. The secret, of course, has to do with the right humidity, light and temperature.

Step 1: Because they are shielded from the scorching rays of the sun, which normally dehydrate them, plants become real little cooling systems. In this way they open their pores or, in specialist terms, their stomata (a small hole in the leaf epidermis or stem of the plant that ensures the exchange of gases with the external environment and the absorption or removal of water from the plant) and take up carbon for photosynthesis, removing water through the leaves. This gradually creates a cold microclimate.

Step 2: Plants use their new feature to cool solar panels, agrivoltaics, when temperatures rise too high. This is a necessary process, otherwise photovoltaic panels will not have a very long life.

Experience has shown that agricultural solar panels are particularly useful for the following crops: cherries, strawberries, blueberries, apples, tomatoes, lettuce, potatoes, etc.

These are not the only reasons we recommend them, we also have in the hopper…

4 benefits of buying agrivoltaics

  1. Produce green, renewable energy

Agrivoltaic panels are environmentally friendly because they do not pollute the air. This is an effect of the fact that their installation and operation does not include the burning and disposal of the usual fuels: oil, natural gas or coal. Everything is echo.

  1. Reduce water consumption

If conventional irrigation systems are installed and used during dry periods of the year, agrivoltaics are there to be used whenever needed. In fact, water consumption for watering plants decreases by up to 50%.

  1. Pass the test of time

Photovoltaic panels have a lifespan of more than 20 years, and this is thanks to the high-quality materials they are made of. More specifically:

  • thin-film amorphous silicon – helps especially with indirect solar radiation;
  • Polycrystalline silicon – are mainly found in industrial and residential areas, made from multiple pieces of silicon and are affordable in terms of performance;
  • monocrystalline silicon – protects the soil from direct solar radiation, their place being on flat surfaces.
  1. You save money

Although it may seem expensive at first to buy photovoltaic or agrivoltaic panels, the cost pays for itself over time. After all, solar energy is inexhaustible and free, so at least in terms of crops, you can end up not needing primary electricity at all.

Now that you’ve learned all this valuable information about solar farm panels, we invite you to choose a kit for your crops. The agrivoltaic kit includes: photovoltaic panels with monocrystalline cells, stainless steel connecting parts and structure made of corrosion-resistant anodised aluminium.

If you’re not sure which one meets your requirements, we offer a consultancy service based on seriousness and focused on solving the client’s needs. Contact us on +40 724 270 161 or vanzari@solecs.eu.

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