Agri photovoltaic system to protect against hail in apple orchards
A research project from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) has started to improve the resilience of fruit growing. The project will run until 2025 and is scientifically supervised by the Fraunhofer Institute and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
Photovoltaic modules are to replace conventional protective mechanisms, such as hail nets, in organic farming in Grafschaft-Gelsdorf, Rhineland-Palatinate and protect the ripening fruit from sunburn, hail, and frost. In order not to hinder the growth of the apple trees the modules must be particularly translucent. In addition to its protective function the agri-PV system has another benefit: green electricity is generated on the cultivated areas which can be used to power agricultural machinery on the farm.
Thus, agricultural production and sustainable energy management are combined on one area. This aspect is particularly important because there is an increasing lack of space in many regions of the world. Dual-use strategies such as the Agri-PV project are examples of an effective and sustainable approach to solving this problem.
Source: Meike Siebel, article from 04/28/21: https://www.oekolandbau.nrw.de/fachinfo/pflanzenbau/obstbau/standard-titel-1 (last access on 09/04/2021 at 2:56 p.m.)