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Evaluation of agrivoltaic systems on Australian pasture

Citation

Coward, TJ, Evaluation of agrivoltaic systems on Australian pasture, Evaluation of agrivoltaic systems on Australian pasture, pp. 1-145. (2021) [Report Other]


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Abstract

Agrivoltaics is the practice of placing solar panels on farmland. This is typically done due to space constraints however recent research has shown that in areas with hot dry summers, the implementation of agrivoltaics can improve the growth of the crops. There is currently little research in Australia on agrivoltaic systems (AVS). This project acts as a prefeasibility study, to investigate the applicability of AVS on Australian pasture.

The investigation is conducted via simulation. Past irradiance data is modified using a shade calculation. The irradiance data is used as an input to the agricultural modeling software GrassGro and conclusions are drawn by comparing the productivity of an unmodified system to the AVS.

The results show a small reduction in productivity ranging between 6 and 3 percent. There is a significant improvement in water efficiency, up to 144 percent and on some sites, an improvement in biomass reaction during summer. These findings are less optimistic than previous studies conducted in the USA however they do indicate scope for new research in Australia.

The improved water efficiency and summer biomass profile suggest that there may be a strong economic incentive for farmers to implement agrivoltaics. The simulation method developed in the project has also created a data set and a method to generate new data for any site in Australia, which will allow for future economic analysis and optimization of pasture based AVS in the future.

Item Details

Item Type:Report Other
Keywords:solar panels, renewable energy on farm, photovoltaics, grazing, pasture, greenhouse gas emissions, solar energy, electricity, sheep, beef, profitability, grass, pasture, carbon, green energy
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Agriculture, land and farm management
Research Field:Sustainable agricultural development
Objective Division:Energy
Objective Group:Renewable energy
Objective Field:Solar-photovoltaic energy
UTAS Author:Coward, TJ (Mr Timothy Coward)
ID Code:148615
Year Published:2021
Deposited By:TIA - Research Institute
Deposited On:2022-01-29
Last Modified:2022-05-16
Downloads:6 View Download Statistics

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