There is an intense need to optimize agrivoltaic systems. This article describes the invention of a new testing system: the parametric open source cold-frame agrivoltaic system (POSCAS). POSCAS is an adapted gardening cold-frame used in cold climates as it acts as a small greenhouse for agricultural production. POSCAS is designed to test partially transparent solar photovoltaic (PV) modules targeting the agrivoltaic market. It can both function as a traditional cold frame, but it can also be automated to function as a full-service greenhouse. The integrated PV module roof can be used to power the controls or it can be attached to a microinverter to produce power. POSCAS can be placed in an experimental array for testing, agricultural and power production. It can be easily adapted for any type of partially transparent PV module. An array of POSCAS systems al-lows for testing agrivoltaic impacts from the percent transparency of the modules by varying the thickness of a thin film PV material or the density of silicon-based cells, and various forms of optical enhancement, anti-reflection coatings and solar light spectral shifting materials in the back sheet. All agrivoltaic variables can be customized to identify ideal PV designs for a given agricultural crop.
additive manufacturing; agriculture; agrivoltaic; distributed manufacturing; farming; gardening; open hardware; photovoltaic; recycling; solar energy
ENGINEERING, Energy & Fuel Technology
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