Analysis of the internal shading in a photovoltaic greenhouse tunnel

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Alvaro Marucci *
Danilo Monarca
Andrea Colantoni
Enio Campiglia
Andrea Cappuccini
(*) Corresponding Author:
Alvaro Marucci | marucci@unitus.it

Abstract

In recent years, the increasing interest in energy production from renewable energy sources has led to photovoltaic elements being placed on greenhouse coverings. The shading of crops by these elements can, however, cause problems regarding the normal course of agricultural activity. All studies thus far on the application of photovoltaic (PV) panels as a greenhouse covering material have focused on flat roof structures. Tunnel greenhouses, due to their curved shape, do not lend themselves easily to accommodating PV panels on even part of the cover. In this study, we analysed the shading variation inside a tunnel greenhouse that was produced by applying flexible and transparent PV panels in a checkerboard arrangement. The transparent flexible PV panels are manufactured using monocrystalline silicon cells, with an efficiency of 18%, incorporated into polymers with high resistance. The PV panel dimensions are 1.116×0.165 m. The simulation software Autodesk® Autocad2010® was used for this study. The variation and distribution of the shading percentage of PV panels were analysed in relation to the surface area affected by the photovoltaic roof, the total area of the greenhouse and the section of the greenhouse. In particular, we studied the variations in the percentage of shading and the size of the shaded area on the twenty-first day of each month of the year. The results show some regularity in the shading percentage, mainly due to the curvilinear shape of the section of the greenhouse. From mid-March to mid- September, the shading in the middle of the day is almost always inside the greenhouse. In the other months of the year, it is partly inside and partly outside the tunnel greenhouse. With the photovoltaic arrangement adopted, the percentage of shading during the year never exceeds 40%.

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