Cossu, Marco and Murgia, Lelia and Ledda, Luigi and Deligios, Paola Antonia and Sirigu, Antonella and Chessa, Francesco and Pazzona, Antonio Luigi (2014) Solar radiation distribution inside a greenhouse with south-oriented photovoltaic roofs and effects on crop productivity. Applied Energy, Vol. 133 , p. 89-100. ISSN 0306-2619. Article.
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This study assessed the climate conditions inside a greenhouse in which 50% of the roof area was replaced with photovoltaic (PV) modules, describing the solar radiation distribution and the variability of temperature and humidity. The effects of shading from the PV array on crop productivity were described on tomato, also integrating the natural radiation with supplementary lighting powered by PV energy. Experiments were performed inside an east–west oriented greenhouse (total area of 960 m2), where the south-oriented roofs were completely covered with multi-crystalline silicon PV modules, with a total rated power of 68 kWp. The PV system reduced the availability of solar radiation inside the greenhouse by 64%, compared to the situation without PV system (2684 MJ m−2 on yearly basis). The solar radiation distribution followed a north–south gradient, with more solar energy on the sidewalls and decreasing towards the center of the span, except in winter, where it was similar in all plant rows. The reduction under the plastic and PV covers was respectively 46% and 82% on yearly basis. Only a 18% reduction was observed on the plant rows farthest from the PV cover of the span. The supplementary lighting, powered without exceeding the energy produced by the PV array, was not enough to affect the crop production, whose revenue was lower than the cost for heating and lighting. The distribution of the solar radiation observed is useful for choosing the most suitable crops and for designing PV greenhouses with the attitude for both energy and crop production.
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