The article discusses the concept of photovoltaic agriculture, which is a new way of using land for both solar energy and agricultural production. In this system, solar panels and crops coexist on the same surface, providing a dual benefit. PV agriculture system includes a range of applications such as PV irrigation, PV greenhouses, PV farming, PV farms, and more.
How agricultural PV systems work
The solar panels are mounted on fixed support systems, which are typically raised about five meters above the farmland. This allows agricultural machinery to access the crops below. Alternatively, dynamic agricultural PV involves mounting the solar panels on overhead cables, allowing the panels to be moved or adjusted during different seasons or when cultivating different land.
To ensure maximum efficiency, monitoring systems are used to orient the solar panels and prevent them from casting shadows on the same spot all the time. In the future, translucent solar panels may be developed to allow wavelengths of sunlight required for photosynthesis to pass through while absorbing the rest for energy production.
Advantages and disadvantages of photovoltaic agriculture
The advantages of photovoltaic agriculture system include using land for both energy and food production, reducing pressure on ecosystems and biodiversity, increasing land use efficiency and yields, and combating global climate change. However, the cost of photovoltaic modules has been a bottleneck in the past.
Despite the challenges, the development of photovoltaic agriculture is inevitable due to continuous population growth and sustainable ecological development. PV agriculture in China is developing rapidly with the support of national policies and capital investment. The future of photovoltaic agriculture is promising, and it has the potential to revolutionize the agriculture industry while contributing to global sustainability efforts.