Agrivoltaico

Descarga el documento que explica la tecnología agrivoltaica en Chile y Latinoamérica y sus beneficios para agricultores y para el sector energético en Chile.

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Agricultural production and photovoltaic solar energy in the same área.

The growing energy requirement for industries and urban centres has increased the demand for land for power generation. This creates conflicts with agriculture over land use and increases the value of land.

As a solution to this problem, it is possible to combine agricultural production and electricity generation with photovoltaic panels at height on the same land.

Fraunhofer Chile helps to integrate solar photovoltaic technologies into agricultural land, adapting in Chile an experience that has been applied for years on a commercial scale in Europe and Asia.

Benefits

A study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) in Germany showed that after two years, the implementation of a pilot agro-voltaic system increased land use efficiency by 160%, taking into account agricultural productivity plus energy production.

In the case of potatoes, land use efficiency increased by 186% per hectare with the agrovoltaic system, compared to the previous year.

In the case of Chile, studies conducted by Fraunhofer Chile on cauliflower (unpublished data) have shown that there are no significant differences in the main quality attributes between crops with and without shading from photovoltaic panels.

The panels are arranged in such a way as to generate a uniform shade over the intervened crop, allowing agricultural activities along with the production of photovoltaic solar energy.

Adapted to Chilean conditions, agrovoltaic technology is an innovative, sustainable and resource-efficient solution (water, energy, agricultural land).

Cultivation under photovoltaic panels has high potential in arid and semi-arid areas and with high solar radiation. These can be installed on various crops, including vines, minor fruit trees (e.g. blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, redcurrants, sarsaparilla, maqui, tuna, pomegranate and physalis, among others) and, if there is economic feasibility, also higher fruit trees.

Positive impacts.

  • It avoids competition for the use of land for agriculture and energy.
  • Reduced water stress, water loss through transpiration and increased production of certain crops in arid areas (chiltepin, jalapeño, cherry tomatoes) (Barron-Gafford, G.A, Nature Sustainability 2019).
  • Opportunity for the development of new lines of premium agricultural products with a lower carbon footprint.
  • The shading effect of the panels at height protects plants that are sensitive to sunstroke (Barron-Gafford, G.A, Nature Sustainability 2019).
  • In areas under photovoltaic panels the soil maintains higher humidity, there is more efficient use of water and more biomass, in the case of pastureland for livestock (Hassanpou Adeh et al., 2018)
  • Generation of electricity for agricultural processes, which allows the installation of automated irrigation systems to improve the efficiency of water use.
  • It can become an important contribution to the development of solar generation systems at a distributed level.
  • Cost savings due to self-generation of energy on the property and eventual sale of surplus energy to distribution networks (Law 20,517 on Distributed Generation).

Fraunhofer Chile AgroPV Project.

Chile's Metropolitan Region leads the country in horticultural production, with 28% of the national cultivated area (*), while its urban expansion generates strong pressure on agricultural land.  The AgroPV project, implemented by Fraunhofer Chile with funding from the Metropolitan IFCR (2015), aims to alleviate part of this conflict by offering a dual land use: agricultural production and clean energy generation.

 

 

 

Source: ODEPA Vegetables Bulletin (May 2020).

The centres for Solar Energy Technologies and Systems Biotechnology are participating in AgroPV. The former transferred and adapted the technology to local conditions, and the latter studies the growth of different vegetables under the photovoltaic panels.

The drivers

Located in El Monte, Curacaví and Lampa, each has an installed capacity of 13 kWp and can generate up to 20.8 MWh/year.

This means that 8.8 tonnes of CO2 per year are not emitted.

If you are interested in implementing it.

Fraunhofer Chile will analyse the technical-economic potential of the implementation of a pilot plant in the required geographical sector. The panel system will be installed, the most appropriate crops for the established conditions will be recommended and the technicians and managers will be trained during the development of the pilot phase.