Why is AgRack different?
Agrivoltaics first, Bi-facial module optimization second, sustainability always. AgRack is the photovoltaic racking system that is always multitasking.
Maybe you want to reduce the water needs of your agricultural products. Maybe you need a place to store your agricultural products like bales of fescue. Maybe you want covered parking for agricultural equipment. Maybe you need shade for livestock. Or, maybe you just want to increase agricultural productivity of your land. AgRack can do all of those things for you, and produce the energy you need simultaneously.
With up to 12‘,6“ in minimum height clearance, and 34 foot spacing, center to center, between upright supports, nearly all agricultural equipment can fit beneath the array. This means that besides storing farm equipment, farm supplies, and feeding livestock under the array, you can continue farming under your AgRack!
AgRack’s customizable ground cover ratio will actually allow you to increase your agricultural productivity in some cases. Picture a chessboard, the dark spots are solar panels, and the white spaces are open areas. We adjust the size of those open areas to appropriately meet the needs of the agricultural products being propagated beneath the array. If you plan to use the space for storage, we reduce these gaps to zero, but crops grown underneath benefit from the spaces. The spring and fall growing seasons are extended by keeping the plants warmer at night since they are partially covered, and do not radiate their heat into the dark nighttime sky. Then during summer in the peak of the daytime heat, the plants get to alternate between shade and sun as the sun moves through the sky. This reduces water needs by up to 25%, and increases productivity of plants that cannot handle the full summer sun.
These gaps between the modules mean a lower total number of modules, though. To make up for this reduction, we used Bi-facial panels. These are solar modules that produce energy on the backside, the same as they do on the front side, yet cost nearly the same price to make as a standard panels. These innovative modules are not living up to their potential, though! Most modules are either mounted on the roof, or within 3 feet of the ground, so the back of the panel is exposed to very little albedo radiation. Albedo radiation is solar, radiation that has bounced off of a surface, like grass or snow. The other challenge is that standard racking systems block certain cells on the back of the module from receiving hardly any albedo radiation at all. Not only does AgRack get the panels a long ways off the ground and our patent pending racking system does not shade the back of the module like standard racking. This allows for optimization of the bifacial modules, and since they are higher off the ground, they actually stay cooler which increases module efficiency, also. This is multi level multitasking!
And at every level, sustainability has been considered. We know that you may re-power your system in the future, by putting new modules on the existing AgRack. All of our components work with every module width, length, and frame height, as long as it has an aluminum frame. This means that you will not have to buy a new balance of system components for your future re-powers, and if you want to produce a different crop, you can change the spacing between modules to create the best ground cover ratio for your agricultural goals. Since we use steel fabricated in the United States, AgRack is completely recyclable once its 50+ year life span comes to an end.
At Midwest Agrivoltaic Systems, we believe that AgRack is the future of agricultural energy production. Give us a chance to show you that the future of solar racking is available today!