Improvement of electrical efficiency in a PV solar farm utilizing agriculture

Julian Leaf, Yuval Kaye, Liran Ben-Altabet, Annette Penny, David Meninger, Evyatar Erell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The effect of vegetation on solar PV panel efficiency was tested in a commercial solar farm in the Negev Desert of Israel. Panel temperature of mono-facial modules in two test sites of 0.22 hectares each with different plant treatments was up to 3.5°C lower at midday compared to the panel temperature in an adjacent reference plot with bare loess soil. The temperature difference was not uniform, being greatest for the upper panels in a ground-mounted array (average reduction 2.2°C), and lowest for panels closest to the ground (1.0°C reduction). The temperature reduction is attributed primarily to smaller fluxes of solar radiation reflected from the plants, which have a lower albedo than the bare soil, and to less infrared radiation emitted from the plants, which are cooler. A small reduction in air temperature due to evapotranspiration also contributed to this outcome. Electricity production measured in the test plots was approximately 1% higher over the summer test period. The Land Equivalent Ratio (LER) of the test plots was 1.67, reflecting the combined contribution of the increased electricity production, the value of the crops, and the reduction in site maintenance costs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAgriVoltaics 2021 Conference
Subtitle of host publicationConnecting Agrivoltaics Worldwide
EditorsMax Trommsdorff
PublisherAmerican Institute of Physics Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9780735442764
StatePublished - 6 Dec 2022
EventAgriVoltaics 2021 Conference: Connecting Agrivoltaics Worldwide - Freiburg, Germany
Duration: 14 Jun 202116 Jun 2021

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


ConferenceAgriVoltaics 2021 Conference: Connecting Agrivoltaics Worldwide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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