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FA info icon.svgAngle down icon.svgSource data
Type Paper
Year 2023
Location London, ON, Canada
Cite as Citation reference for the source document. Jamil U, Vandewetering N, Pearce JM (2023) Solar photovoltaic wood racking mechanical design for trellis-based agrivoltaics. PLOS ONE 18(12): e0294682. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0294682 academia open access
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Status Designed
Modelled
Prototyped
Verified
Verified by FAST
Made Yes
Replicated Yes
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Using a trellis to plant vegetables and fruits can double or triple the yield per acre as well as reduce diseases/pests, ease harvesting and make cleaner produce. Cultivars such as cucumbers, grapes, kiwi, melons, peas, passion fruit, pole beans, pumpkins, strawberries, squash, and tomatoes are all grown with trellises. Many of these cultivars showed increased yield with partial shading with semi-transparent solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. To further increase the efficiency of trellis-based growing systems, this study investigates novel low-cost, open-source, sustainable, wood-based PV racking designs for agrivoltaic applications. Design calculations are made to ensure these racks exceed Canadian building code standards, which with snow loads surpass those of most of the world. A complete bill of materials, fabrication instructions, and proof-of-concept prototypes are provided for three system topographies (sloped, T-shaped and inverse Y) along with economic analysis. In addition, to being cost competitive, the designs can act as trellis supports and be used for irrigation/fertigation purposes. The results indicate that these racking structures have enormous promise both agriculturally and energetically. If employed on only grape farms inside Canada, 10 GW of PV potential is made available, which is more than twice the total current installed PV in Canada.

Keywords[edit | edit source]

Sustainable development; Open-source; Photovoltaic; racking; solar energy; biomaterials; wood; photovoltaic; mechanical design; balance of systems; renewable energy; open source; do-it-yourself; grapes; trellis

See also[edit | edit source]

Open Source Photovoltaic Racking Approaches[edit source]

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