An Approach to Assess the Impact of High Biaxial Photovoltaic Trackers on Crop Growth and Yield




Agrivoltaics, Photovoltaic Tracker, Crop Growth and Yield, Crop Field


The growing need for producing renewable energy such as photovoltaic electricity, and the mitigation of the increasing occurrences of heatwaves and drought affecting annual crops, could be addressed by the installation of agrivoltaic systems. Depending on pedoclimatic context, cultivated crop, solar panels technology and implementation configuration, solar panels shading can improve or reduce crop growth and yields. Among photovoltaic installations, solar trackers might have a high development potential. These photovoltaic panels are mounted on a vertical axis at a 7m height. Thanks to their height, their biaxial moving capacity, their small anchoring surface and their punctual structure making plants design easily adaptable to agricultural constraints, they can fit with all types of agricultural systems. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of such trackers on crop growth and yields. For this purpose, a set of 6 different fields crop located in western France were studied. Crop phenology, height and yield were investigated. Results showed a delay in crop development near the trackers that was overcome late in the crop cycle, near harvest. For crop height and crop yield, the results showed important spatial variability but without clear trend related to the tracker shadow. The results are discussed in the light of new perspectives, including the consideration of microclimatic and pedological data to better explore the effects of trackers on plant growth and development, the measurement of morphological and physiological traits of plants, the accounting of a multi-trackers effect implemented on the same site, the temporal dynamics of the effect of a tracker.


Download data is not yet available.


T. Abbasi, S. A. Abbasi, “Renewable Energy Sources: Their Impact on Global Warming and Pollution - Google Livres.” (accessed Jun. 27, 2023).

H.H. Rogner, R.F. Aguilera, R. Bertani, C. Bhattacharya, M.B. Dusseault, L. Gagnon, H. Haberl, M. Hoogwijk, et al. (2012). Chapter 7: Energy resources and potentials. In: Global Energy Assessment: Toward a Sustainable Future. Eds. Team, GEA Writing, pp.423-512 (October 2012): Cambridge University Press and IIASA.

A. Ortiz-Bobea, T. R. Ault, C. M. Carrillo, R. G. Chambers, and D. B. Lobell, “Anthropogenic climate change has slowed global agricultural productivity growth,” Nat Clim Chang, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 306–312, Apr. 2021, doi:

A. Weselek, A. Ehmann, S. Zikeli, I. Lewandowski, S. Schindele, and P. Högy, “Agrophotovoltaic systems: applications, challenges, and opportunities. A review,” Agronomy for Sustainable Development, vol. 39, no. 4. Springer-Verlag France, Aug. 01, 2019. doi:

R. A. Fischer and Y. M. Stockman, “Kernel Number per Spike in Wheat (Triticum aestivunt L.) : Responses to Preanthesis Shading,”. Aust. J. Plant Physiol, vol. 7, no.2, pp. 169-180, Sep. 1980. doi:

R. A. Fischer, “Yield Potential in a Dwarf Spring Wheat and the Effect of Shading.” Crop sci, vol. 15, no.5, pp. 607-613, Sep. 1975. doi:

P. E. Jedel and L. A. Hunt, “Shading and Thinning Effects on Multi‐ and Standard‐Floret Winter Wheat,” Crop Sci, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 128–133, Jan. 1990, doi:

G. A. Slafer, G. M. Halloran, and D. J. Connor, “Influence of photoperiod on culm length in wheat,” Field Crop Research, vol.40, no.2, pp. 95-99, Feb.1995. doi:

Y. Elamri, B. Cheviron, J. M. Lopez, C. Dejean, and G. Belaud, “Water budget and crop modelling for agrivoltaic systems: Application to irrigated lettuces,” Agric Water Manag, vol. 208, pp. 440–453, Sep. 2018, doi:

P.-E. Noirot-Cosson, T. Riou, and Y. Bugny, “Toward Assessing Photovoltaic Trackers Effects on Annual Crops Growth and Building Optimized Agrivoltaics Systems Based on Annual Crops.” Agrivoltaics2021 Conference, Dec. 2022. doi:

J. C. Zadocks, T. T. Chang, and C. F. Konzak, “A decimal code for the growth stages of cereals,” Weed Res, vol. 14, no. 6, pp. 415–421, 1974, doi:

L. J. Abendroth, R. W. Elmore, M. J. Boyer, S. K. Marlay, “Corn growth and development”, Iowa state university, PMR 1009. Mar. 2011.

R Core Team (2022). R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. URL ://

“Changement climatique : l’été 2022 et ses extrêmes météorologiques pourraient être la norme après 2050 | Météo-France.” (accessed Apr. 11, 2023).

H.D. Inurreta Aguirre, L. Dufour, C. Dupraz, P.-E. Lauri, and M. Gosme, Effect of agroforestry on phenology and components of yield of different varieties of durum wheat. 3. European Agroforestry Conference (EURAF 2016), Institut National de Recherche Agronomique (INRA), UMR Fonctionnement et conduite des systèmes de culture tropicaux et méditerranéens (1230)., May 2016, Montpellier, France. 466 p. hal-02742945

T. Sekiyama and A. Nagashima, “Solar sharing for both food and clean energy production: Performance of agrivoltaic systems for corn, a typical shade-intolerant crop,” Environments - MDPI, vol. 6, no. 6, Jun. 019, doi:




How to Cite

Inghels, C., Noirot-Cosson, P.-E., Leroy, V., Kichey, T., & Guiller, A. (2024). An Approach to Assess the Impact of High Biaxial Photovoltaic Trackers on Crop Growth and Yield . AgriVoltaics Conference Proceedings, 2.

Conference Proceedings Volume


Plant & Crop Physiology