A case study of tomato production and water productivity in agrivoltaic systems

The challenge of meeting growing food and energy demand while also mitigating climate change drives the development and adoption of renewable technologies ad approaches. Agrivoltaic systems are an approach that allows for both agricultural and electrical production on the same land area.

These systems have the potential to reduced water demand and increase the overall water productivity of certain crops. The team observed the microclimate and growth characteristics of Tomato plants (Solanum lycopersicon var. Legend) grown within three locations on an Agrivoltaic field (control, interrow, and below panels) and with two different irrigation treatments (full and deficit). Total crop yield was highest in the control fully irrigated areas a, b (88.42 kg/row, 68.13 kg/row), and decreased as shading increased, row full irrigated areas a, b had 53.59 kg/row, 32.76 kg/row, panel full irrigated areas a, b had (33.61 kg/row, 21.64 kg/row).

Water productivity in the interrow deficit treatments was 53.98 kg/m3 greater than the control deficit, and 24.21 kg/m3 greater than the panel deficit, respectively. These results indicate the potential of Agrivoltaic systems to improve water productivity even for crops that are traditionally considered shade-intolerant.

Read the complete research at www.researchgate.net.

Al-Agele, Hadi & Proctor, Kyle & Murthy, Ganti & Higgins, Chad. (2021). A Case Study of Tomato (Solanum Lycopersicon var Legend) Production and Water Productivity in Agrivoltaic Systems. Sustainability. 13. 13. 10.3390/su13052850. 


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