Rutgers University partners with SolarEdge for Agrivoltaics Research.

By Oliver Townsend Jul 7, 2024
Rutgers University Selects SolarEdge Technologies for Its Agrivoltaics Research.jpegOrginal image from: https://www.renewableenergymagazine.com/pv_solar/rutgers-university-selects-solaredge-technologies-for-its-20240706

Rutgers University has chosen SolarEdge Technologies for its cutting-edge research in agrivoltaics. This innovative program aims to explore the benefits of combining agricultural production with solar energy generation on the same land. This partnership is part of the Dual-Use Solar Energy Pilot Program, a collaborative effort involving various organizations and agencies in New Jersey with a goal of investigating the feasibility and advantages of agrivoltaics. The program is set to run for three years and aims to install 200 MW of solar energy capacity.

SolarEdge Technologies: Pioneering Agrivoltaics Research

SolarEdge Technologies, Inc. has been selected by Rutgers University to provide technology for their Agrivoltaics Program. The program includes three sites with different panel mounting methods to study the impact on agricultural production and electricity generation. This research will provide valuable data to establish a permanent Dual-Use Solar Program in New Jersey.

Research Sites and Methods

The Rutgers Agrivoltaics Program comprises three sites, each utilizing a different panel mounting method:

– Rutgers Animal Farm in New Brunswick: This site features vertically mounted bifacial panels for forage crops and beef cattle grazing.
– Snyder Research and Extension Farm in Pittstown: Single-axis trackers are used for hay production.
– Rutgers Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Bridgeton: This site utilizes single-axis trackers with both single-wide and double-wide rows of panels for vegetable and staple crop production.

Measuring Impact

Each site will evaluate electricity output using Module Level Power Electronics (MLPE) for accurate measurement and analysis of energy production. By studying the performance of these different panel mounting methods, the research aims to provide insights into optimizing both agricultural production and electricity generation.

Benefits of Agrivoltaics

Agrivoltaics offers a sustainable solution for farmers to address rising energy costs while maintaining agricultural production. By combining solar energy generation with farming practices, agrivoltaics can improve the sustainability and viability of farms. This collaboration between Rutgers University and SolarEdge Technologies underscores the potential for agrivoltaics to enhance both environmental and economic outcomes.

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