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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2022-01-01 - 2025-12-31

Scientific monitoring of an agri-photovoltaic system: Evaluation, monitoring and optimisation of different agri-PV systems as well as the management of the areas between the PV modules within the framework of the project entitled: Sonnengarten Agri-PV (Agri-photovoltaic, Research and Demonstration System) within the framework of the funding programme: Model and Lighthouse Projects Photovoltaics
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2022-01-01 - 2024-12-31

Objective: The objective is to monitor the management of the agricultural land of an agri-photovoltaic system and to optimise the management. Different agricultural processes (arable farming and grassland) are to be recorded and optimisation potential determined. With the help of position recording systems, the tractor movements on an area with agri-photovoltaics and then analysed. In order to improve the cultivation, optimal equipment combinations (tractors - implements) are also determined. Essential microclimatic parameters are to be collected and evaluated.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2020-10-01 - 2023-03-31

The project PA³C³ describes the potential of AgroVoltaics in Austria in the context of climate change. It focuses on the combined use of agricultural land for production of food/feed and solar electricity as countermeasure to future impacts of climate change, as well as maximization of land utilization. The coming decades will pose the challenge to meet both increasing demand of agricultural products and electricity, being complicated by changing conditions due to climate change. Expected increase of average temperature, drying trends paired with extreme precipitation events and other climatic changes force agricultural management to adapt. AgroVoltaics is a promising pathway for adaptation. The electrical output can possibly substitute the decreased output of agricultural products. Furthermore, the photovoltaic panels can have a positive effect on the plants below, e.g. reducing peak solar radiation and irrigation demand, being a countermeasure to the negative effects of climate change. The expansion of renewable energy production also has effects on environmental impacts. Beside the agrotechnical and economical challenges of changing management, a broad participation of stakeholders is crucial due to the decentralized structure of AgroVoltaics. To investigate these complex relationships, PA³C³ combines the important aspects for a successful implementation of AgroVoltaics in Austria. Serving this purpose, three scenarios are established: (1) unmodified agricultural management simulated with EPIC, (2) complete substitution of agriculture by photovoltaics simulated with PV-GIS, (3) combined land use, i.e. AgroVoltaics, investigated with life-cycle-assessment. The scenarios will be compared for the base year 2020 and 2050 under regards of projected climate impacts. Since the reliability of agricultural management is strongly dependent on local conditions, the results are resolved on a 500-meter grid over Austria, based on GIS-data such as topographic attributes, soil conditions, actual land management, weather data, etc. The acceptance of these scenarios by stakeholders will be investigated with a “serious gaming”-approach. Combining the results of all researched aspects, the potential for AgroVoltaics can be classified with a high geographical resolution.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations