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Please join us for coffee and continental breakfast for this upcoming Research Seminar with Dr. Emily Warmann, where she will be discussing the innovative concept of agrivoltaics, a new way to grow crops, and its potential benefits at the Food-Energy-Water nexus.

Date: 6/5/24
Time: 10-11 AM
Location: Hybrid, CE-CERT RM 105 or Zoom (https://ucr.zoom.us/j/95411739627  Meeting ID: 954 1173 9627)

Presentation Title: Agrivoltaics – A systems approach producing benefits at the Food-Energy-Water nexus in the arid Southwest

Abstract: Agrivoltaics, or co-locating photovoltaic (PV) arrays and active agricultural production on the same land, is an active and growing area of interest as the world transitions from fossil to renewable energy. If current PV development patterns continue, photovoltaics could occupy 10% or more of the land currently used for crop production in some regions by 2050. Despite the apparent paradox of locating two systems that require ample sunlight in the same space, agrivoltaics present a pathway to reduce this competition for land resources. Further, the results of initial agrivoltaics pilot projects have shown further benefits due to the interactions between the PV and agricultural systems.

A combined modeling approach for agrivoltaics that integrates a novel crop model, a long-standing evapotranspiration model and PV shading analysis predicts that the shading in agrivoltaics systems can be beneficial to crops and reduce water consumption. This model allows examination of how PV array design parameters such as spacing, orientation and tilt angle interact with the physiological characteristics of the crops, acting as a tool for optimization of the overall productivity of the system. In the Southwest US, where irrigated agriculture is sensitive to water supply restrictions due to climate change, agrivoltaics presents a pathway for climate mitigation and adaptation without compromising the region’s agricultural land resources or economic strength.

About Emily: Emily C Warmann received a BS and MS in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the California Institute of Technology. Her Ph.D. research interests in the Atwater group include systems design approaches to photovoltaics and the spectral dependence of photovoltaic energy production. After completing her studies, she remained as technical staff on the Space Solar Power Program at Caltech, supporting systems integration and thermal analysis. Her current research interests include systems engineering to maximize benefits from photovoltaics, particularly in agrivoltaics, or the co-production of solar energy and crops on the same land.

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Meeting ID: 954 1173 9627

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