Effects of Agrivoltaic Systems on the Surrounding Rooftop Microclimate
Agrivoltaic systems have the potential to maximize the usefulness of spaces in building rooftops. Urban farming systems improve the microclimatic conditions, which are beneficial to solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, as they lower the operating temperatures, resulting in a higher operating efficiency. Microclimate simulations by means of ENVI-met simulation showed that between 0800 h and 1800 h, PV temperatures in the plot that has crops below the PV system were on average lower by 2.83 ◦C and 0.71 ◦C as compared without crops on a typical sunny and cloudy day, respectively. Hence, we may see PV efficiency performance improvement of 1.13–1.42% and 0.28–0.35% on a sunny day and cloudy day, respectively. Data collected from a physical prototype of an agrivoltaic system suggested that evaporative cooling was responsible for the reduction in ambient temperatures. The presence of crops growing underneath the PV canopy resulted in the agrivoltaic prototype generating between 3.05 and 3.2% more energy over the day as compared to a control system with no crops underneath.
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