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Vertical agrivoltaics for high snow loads

Luxor Solar has developed a south-oriented system for high snow loads in Japan. It features its own heterojunction solar modules, along with mounting systems from Germany’s Next2Sun and inverters from Japan’s Omron.

Luxor Solar KK, the Japanese subsidiary of German module manufacturer Luxor Solar, has built an 8.3 kW vertical PV system in the parking area of a rice processing factory owned by Eco Rice Niigata in Niigata prefecture, Japan.

The cars will be parked between the vertical rack systems,” Luxor Solar KK CEO Uwe Liebscher told pv magazine. “The goal of this system is to show the durability during winter, and the additional energy yield due to the reflection of the snow. Niigata, on the other hand, is known for being a high snow load area, with up to 2-3m of snow in winter.”

The south-oriented system features Luxor Solar’s own heterojunction solar modules, as well as mounting systems from German vertical PV specialist Next2Sun and inverters from Japan’s Omron. The vertical array will supply electricity to a rice processing factory next to the system. The city of Nagaoka supported the project with JPY 2 million ($14,390).

Luxor Solar KK is now building a similar project on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, where there are higher snow loads.

Together with Next2Sun, Luxor Solar KK is selling a vertical rack system, that is customized for Japan, where we have stronger winds and higher snow loads than in Europe,” said Liebscher.

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He claimed that vertical PV is the ideal solution for a land-constrained country like Japan.

“A vertical installation uses only a minimum space of the farmland while maintaining more than 85% of the light reaching the crops, ensuring an optimal balance of solar and farming, which is crucial in Japan,” he said. “This allows us to build agrivoltaic systems on utility crops farmland, like for wheat, potatoes or rice, on a big scale.”

Luxor Solar and Next2Sun contributed to Japan’s first vertical PV project this year. They supported the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies and Japanese engineering contractor Ryoeng to deploy an agrivoltaic system with a vertical design in Nihonmatsu, Fukushima prefecture. It adapted the array design to comply with domestic wind speed standards.

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Source: pv magazine