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Computational fluid dynamics modelling of microclimate for a vertical agrivoltaic system
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2225-029X
Mälardalen University.
Mälardalen University.
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
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2023 (English)In: Energy Nexus, ISSN 2772-4271, Vol. 9, article id 100173Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The increasing worldwide population is leading to a continuous increase in energy and food demand. These increasing demands have led to fierce land-use conflicts as we need agricultural land for food production while striving towards renewable energy systems such as large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, which also require in most of the cases agricultural flat land for implementation. It is therefore essential to identify the interrelationships between the food, and energy sectors and develop sustainable solutions to achieve global goals such as food and energy security. A technology that has shown promising potential in supporting food and energy security, as well as supporting water security, is agrivoltaic (AV) systems. This technology combines conventional farm activities with PV systems on the same land. Understanding the microclimatic conditions in an AV system is essential for an accurate assessment of crop yield potential as well as for the energy performance of the PV systems. Nevertheless, the complex mechanisms governing the microclimatic conditions under agrivoltaic systems represent an underdeveloped research area. In this study, a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model for a vertical AV system is developed and validated. The CFD model showed PV module temperature estimation errors in the order of 0–2 °C and ground temperature errors in the order of 0–1 °C. The shading caused by the vertical PV system resulted in a reduction of solar irradiance by 38%. CFD modelling can be seen as a robust approach to analysing microclimatic parameters and assessing AV system performance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023. Vol. 9, article id 100173
National Category
Energy Systems Energy Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-61951DOI: 10.1016/j.nexus.2023.100173ISI: 001133749800001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85151588794OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-61951DiVA, id: diva2:1738252
Funder
SOLVE, 52693-1Swedish Research Council Formas, FR-2021/0005Swedish Energy Agency, 51000-1Available from: 2023-02-21 Created: 2023-02-21 Last updated: 2024-04-15Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Microclimate modelling for agrivoltaic systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Microclimate modelling for agrivoltaic systems
2024 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Increasing global electricity consumption and population growth have resulted in conflicts between renewable energy sources, such as bioenergy and ground-mounted photovoltaic systems, owing to the limited availability of suitable land caused by competing land uses. This challenge is further compounded by the intertwined relationship between energy and agri-food systems, where approximately 30% of global energy is consumed. In addition, considering that agricultural irrigation accounts for 70% of water use worldwide, its impact on both land and water resources becomes a critical concern. Agrivoltaics offers a potential solution to this land use conflict. However, a knowledge gap remains regarding the impact of integrating these techniques on microclimatic conditions. Addressing this gap is crucial because these conditions directly affect the growth and development of crops, as well as the efficiency of energy yields in photovoltaic panels. Experimental facilities offer valuable insights tailored to specific locations and system designs. Although they provide an in-depth understanding of a particular location, the extrapolation of this information to different locations or alternative systems may be limited. Therefore, the broader applicability of these insights to diverse settings or alternative systems remains unclear. In this thesis, a modelling procedure was developed to evaluate the photosynthetically active radiation reaching crops in typical agrivoltaic configurations across three diverse geographical locations in Europe. This is essential for understanding how solar panel shading affects the incoming photosynthetically active radiation required for crop photosynthesis. Furthermore, computational fluid dynamics were employed to model and assess the microclimate of an experimental agrivoltaic system. The developed model revealed significant variations in photosynthetically active radiation distribution across different agrivoltaic systems and locations, emphasising the need for tailored designs for optimal energy yield and crop productivity. Computational fluid dynamics analysis demonstrated its effectiveness in evaluating microclimatic parameters such as air and soil temperature, wind speed, and solar irradiance within agrivoltaic systems, providing valuable insights for system optimisation. By bridging a knowledge gap, this thesis contributes to the understanding of the modelling and simulation of agrivoltaic system microclimates, thereby facilitating the sustainable coexistence of renewable electricity conversion and agriculture.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University, 2024
Series
Mälardalen University Press Licentiate Theses, ISSN 1651-9256 ; 353
Keywords
Agrivoltaics; Microclimate; Modelling
National Category
Energy Systems
Research subject
Energy- and Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-66113 (URN)978-91-7485-632-3 (ISBN)
Presentation
2024-03-15, Delta, Mälardalens universitet, Västerås, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Energy Agency, 52693-1Swedish Energy Agency, P2022-00809
Available from: 2024-02-26 Created: 2024-02-23 Last updated: 2024-03-01Bibliographically approved

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Zainali, SebastianLu, Silvia MaAvelin, AndersStridh, BengtCampana, Pietro Elia

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Zainali, SebastianQadir, OmarParlak, Sertac CemLu, Silvia MaAvelin, AndersStridh, BengtCampana, Pietro Elia
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Energy SystemsEnergy Engineering

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