New agrivoltaic project to test crop-responsive PV trackers for greenhouses
An interdisciplinary consortium coordinated by Israel’s Al-Zahrawi Society, a Triangle Research and Development Center entity, has launched Regace, a new agrivoltaics research project for greenhouses. It will install Trisolar’s crop-responsive PV tracking system in greenhouses across six locations.
“The TriSolar tracking system is designed to be used with specially designed semi transparent bifacial PV modules, that are optimized for this agrivoltaic application inside greenhouses, to optimize light distribution inside the greenhouse as well as maximizing electrical output of the PV system,” a project spokesperson told pv magazine.
The Regace project will also evaluate the effectiveness of the PV modules, which were manufactured by an unspecified manufacturer. One of the other aims of the project is to test the energy yield of the tracker systems in greenhouses across different locations and climates.
“A first trial in a Mediterranean climate has shown that an increase of around 20% can be achieved compared to a fixed installation in a greenhouse,” the spokesperson said. “Due to it being crop responsive, it does not harm the crops below the system.”
The pilot will install “relatively small” greenhouses in universities and research institutes in Germany, Austria, Greece, and Israel. It will also test the tracking system at two operational farms in Germany and Italy. The exact sizes of the installations are still being planned.
The Regace project will use carbon dioxide (CO2) enrichment methods to increase crop yield, including bottled CO2 enrichment, CO2 enrichment using CO2 bags, and using agricultural offcuts, compost, or manure to increase CO2 levels inside the greenhouse.
The consortium includes 12 research institutes and commercial organizations from five different countries: Fattoria Sociali del Circeo, Humbolt University of Berlin, Tel Aviv University, University of Rome Tor Vergata, University of Thessaly, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, BIO-Gärtnerei Watzkendorf, and Interteam. The project is supported by a €5.5 million ($5.89 million) grant from the European Union through the Horizon Europe Research and Innovation funding program.