3 min. Research Talk: The Agrivoltaic Simulation tool

By Hans Torsina

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

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With the continually increasing food and energy demands which require sustainability, novel solutions in which agrivoltaic (agrophotovoltaic) is a part of are pushed to solve local land shortages and increase land productivity. Compared to traditional solar energy installations which casts deep shadows on the ground and prevent crops from growing, agrivoltaic can develop strategies on design optics that allows simultaneous coproduction of food and energy. Currently, however, there is not an easily accessible tool program that will assist in this push on agrivoltaics through simulation models. This is important for researchers looking to model certain agrivoltaic scenarios or even anyone exploring the prospect without a highly technical research context. The Agrivoltaic Simulation tool will calculate based on the solar panel parameters, geometries, patterns, and tracking system to provide outputs of contour shadowmaps, solar and electrical power output plots, along with input-output tables. The open-access simulation tool based on optical simulations built by our group, utilizes prior open-sourced code from PVLib, which will be hosted and run on nanoHUB. This provides a more accessible and approachable user interface that promotes dual-function land use and assists planning for an agrivoltaic system.


Hans is an undergraduate student in Electrical Engineering at Purdue University. He is currently working under Prof. Peter Bermel in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering with Wang Ze, a graduate student in the group. He is researching on a radiative cooling system that could help improve efficiency of solar power devices especially those that are heat intensive, such as concentrated solar power.

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Hans Torsina (2019), "3 min. Research Talk: The Agrivoltaic Simulation tool," https://nanohub.org/resources/31505.

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Rawls 1062, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN