The challenge

A ground, on which PV-modules are layed out, is wasted for further use. When tracked in two axes, the output of the modules can be increased by 35%. In this case, the modules need to be arranged in a distance to one another to avoid shadowing. Is it possible to implement a photovoltaic system above a ground to generate electricity and simultaneously use the ground for industrialized agriculture? Furthermore, are there synergetic effects between both systems?

The invention

In a RES-Agricultural Solar Plant with PV-modules raised above the ground in a distance of several metres by means of equally spaced masts 80% of solar radiation reaches the ground allowing plants to grow. When it rains the PV-modules are shifted automatically in a horizontal position in order to collect the rain water and store it in an underground cistern. The collected rain water may be used for irrigation to bring water directly to the roots of the plants. It may also be used to cool the PV-modules in a cooling circuit to prevent power loss caused by high temperature. Another thermal exchange circuit is installed underground to transmit solar heat to the ground to stimulate vegetation.

The advantages

  • Double usage of a ground for agricultural production and electrical power generation
  • Improved performance of the biaxial tracked PV-modules
  • Improved performance of the thermally cooled PV-modules
  • Increased agricultural production with an irrigation system
  • Prolongation of the vegetation period by thermal conditioning of the ground

The applications

  • Decentralized energy production in rural environments
  • Introduction of an agricultural water supply system
  • Provision of an agricultural infrastructure, which can be implemented by means of sun shading and greenhouses between the masts
  • Provision of electrical power for agricultural machinery