A research team at Chonnam National University in South Korea has looked at how solar power generation could be combined with broccoli and cabbage cultivation. The team found that the shading provided by a PV facility could improve the quality of crops.
Broccoli and cabbage need to be grown in places that receive full sun, which means between six and eight hours of sunlight per day or very light shade. A lack of sunlight could result in thin, leggy plants.
"Because of its low light saturation points, broccoli may be a suitable crop to maximize farmer's profits and energy security through an agrivoltaic system," the scientists said. "However, to date, there is limited information on the performance of brassica crops in agrivoltaics."
The scientists built their agrivoltaic system with bifacial modules at a height of 3.3 meters. They achieved an average power generation per day of 127 kWh during the testing period. They claimed that their approach demonstrated the technical and economic viability of the proposed agrivoltaic solution.
"We found that the taste and the quality of the broccoli were not lower than those of a reference field without the solar array," they said. "We also found no significant change in functional ingredients and metabolites that affect the taste."
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