Department Seminar of Ben Aviad Shalom - OPTICAL AND ELECTRICAL PERFORMANCE OF AN AGRIVOLTAIC FIELD WITH SPECTRAL BEAM SPLITTING
School of Mechanical Engineering Seminar
Wednesday, June 8, 2022, at 14:00
Wolfson Building of Mechanical Engineering, Room 206
Optical and electrical performance of an Agrivoltaic field with spectral beam splitting
Ben Aviad Shalom
MSc student of Prof. Avi Kribus
Photovoltaic (PV) power generation is a mature and competitive technology, but its high land area requirement may lead to extensive violation of areas designated to remain open. Installing standard photovoltaic collectors over open agricultural fields (Agrivoltaics) is a way to overcome the shortage of available land. However, this solution could be problematic because the collectors block a significant portion of the solar radiation, including the visible light (Photosynthetically Active Radiation, PAR, 400 – 700 nm) which is necessary for the growth of agricultural crops. One approach to resolve the competition between the need for PV electricity and crop yield is by introducing solar spectral splitting, such that PAR from the incident direct radiation is transmitted to the crop while near infrared radiation (NIR) is directed to the PV panels using a 'hot mirror'. The collector involves only planar, solid-state elements and 1-axis tracking, from East to West and because there is no radiation concentration, high tracking accuracy is not required. On the other hand, the production of solar electricity per unit of collector area is lower compared to standard solar farms that are exposed to full sunlight spectrum.
The objective of the current study is to evaluate the optical and electrical performance of a complete agrivoltaic field with spectral splitting. To predict the spectral intensity of sunlight that reach the PV panels and the ground surface during a typical meteorological year (TMY), the TracePro optical simulation code was used. The geometry and optical properties of each of the collector components are based on commercially available technical data. Incident sunlight and other environmental data are adopted from TMY data for specific sites. The electricity generation by the panels was predicted using the optical simulation, combined with manufacturer’s performance data, and a heat transfer model developed in-house, to estimate the panels temperature. The outputs of the simulation include both the electricity produced by the field over a typical year at a given site, and the amount of PAR radiation that will reach the crop at the ground level. The PAR incident on the crop will be later used to predict the crop yield from the field, while both electrical performance and crop yield data will be used in further work for economic evaluation and applicability potential of the proposed design at different geographical areas and with different crops.
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Wednesday, May 25, 2022, at 14:00