Because of the benefits of solar energy, solar photovoltaic (PV) technology is being deployed at an unprecedented rate and the number of photovoltaic panels is sharply increasing. Agrophotovoltaic systems (solar farms) seem to be the most sustainable tools to create renewable energy without compromising agricultural production. However, utility-scale solar energy development is land intensive and its large-scale installation can have negative impacts on the environment. Moreover, its impacts on soil and on relative hydrological processes have been poorly studied. This article aims to evaluate the impact of solar panels on the runoff generation process, which is directly linked to the soil erosion process. Using a rainfall simulator, runoff measurements for a rainfall intensity equal to 56 mm/h were carried out by assuming different panel arrangements with respect to the maximum slope direction of the field (cross slope and aligned slope). Results were compared to a control reference of the same plot, with no panels (bare soil). Physical models found in the literature were then applied and calibrated, to upscale the models to a much higher hillslope length. Results showed that solar panels increase the peak discharge by about 11 times compared to the reference hillslope. A moderate effect of PV panel arrangement was observed on the peak discharges (11.7 and 11.5 times higher, for cross slope and aligned slope panels, respectively), whereas the time to runoff was the lowest for aligned slope panels (0.3 h), higher for cross slope panels (0.62 h), and the highest (1.2 h), for the bare soil hillslope. As it would be expected, upscaling the models to longer hillslopes resulted in increases in outlet discharges, and in the time to runoff, with an exception for aligned slope panels.

Baiamonte, G., Gristina, L., Palermo, S. (2023). Impact of solar panels on runoff generation process. HYDROLOGICAL PROCESSES, 37(12) [10.1002/hyp.15053].

Impact of solar panels on runoff generation process

Baiamonte, Giorgio
Primo
Conceptualization
;
Gristina, Luciano
Secondo
Data Curation
;
Palermo, Samuel
Ultimo
Conceptualization
2023-12-17

Abstract

Because of the benefits of solar energy, solar photovoltaic (PV) technology is being deployed at an unprecedented rate and the number of photovoltaic panels is sharply increasing. Agrophotovoltaic systems (solar farms) seem to be the most sustainable tools to create renewable energy without compromising agricultural production. However, utility-scale solar energy development is land intensive and its large-scale installation can have negative impacts on the environment. Moreover, its impacts on soil and on relative hydrological processes have been poorly studied. This article aims to evaluate the impact of solar panels on the runoff generation process, which is directly linked to the soil erosion process. Using a rainfall simulator, runoff measurements for a rainfall intensity equal to 56 mm/h were carried out by assuming different panel arrangements with respect to the maximum slope direction of the field (cross slope and aligned slope). Results were compared to a control reference of the same plot, with no panels (bare soil). Physical models found in the literature were then applied and calibrated, to upscale the models to a much higher hillslope length. Results showed that solar panels increase the peak discharge by about 11 times compared to the reference hillslope. A moderate effect of PV panel arrangement was observed on the peak discharges (11.7 and 11.5 times higher, for cross slope and aligned slope panels, respectively), whereas the time to runoff was the lowest for aligned slope panels (0.3 h), higher for cross slope panels (0.62 h), and the highest (1.2 h), for the bare soil hillslope. As it would be expected, upscaling the models to longer hillslopes resulted in increases in outlet discharges, and in the time to runoff, with an exception for aligned slope panels.
17-dic-2023
Settore AGR/08 - Idraulica Agraria E Sistemazioni Idraulico-Forestali
Baiamonte, G., Gristina, L., Palermo, S. (2023). Impact of solar panels on runoff generation process. HYDROLOGICAL PROCESSES, 37(12) [10.1002/hyp.15053].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10447/619934
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