Solar Beam Splitting Collector for Open Field Agrivoltaics

Department Seminar of Shahaf Baron

21 February 2022, 14:00 - 15:00 
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School of Mechanical Engineering Seminar

Wednesday, February 21, 2022 at 14:00
Wolfson Building of Mechanical Engineering, Room 206

 

Solar Beam Splitting Collector for Open Field Agrivoltaics

Shahaf Baron

M.Sc. student of Prof. Abraham Kribusa and Dr. Helena Vitoshkinb

aSchool of Mechanical Engineering, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, 69978, Israel

bInstitute of Agricultural Engineering, Agricultural Research Organization, the Volcani Center, P.O.B. 15159, Rishon LeZion, 7505101, Israel

Installing photovoltaic (PV) collectors above agricultural fields (Agrivoltaics) is an attractive solution to the shortage of available land area for solar power generation. This is an emerging area of research with many experimental projects being installed over greenhouses and open fields, over different crops, and using other PV technologies. However, shading by the collectors blocks sunlight required by the agricultural crop for photosynthesis. This conflict limits the density of collectors (land coverage ratio) and reduces the feasibility of the agrivoltaics solution for most crops. The proposed solution is a spectral splitting collector that transmits the visible light (photosynthetically active radiation, PAR) to the crop, directing the rest of the solar spectrum (infrared and near-infrared) to a PV panel. Such a collector should minimize or even eliminate the reduction in crop yield while allowing the total density of the collector field. The objective of the research is to validate this concept, using an experimental demonstration of a spectrum-splitting collector and measurement of its impact on the electricity production yield. The spectrum-splitting collector includes a spectrally selective ‘hot mirror’, a standard Si-based PV panel, and a single-axis tracking mechanism for daily (East-West) tracking. The experimental work is accompanied by a simulation of the optical and electrical performance under the same conditions for a deeper analysis and validation of the results. An expanded simulation allows to predict the corresponding performance of a future large-scale field covered with collectors.

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