Modelling Light Interception by Rows of Tall-Growing Crops in an Agri-PV System




Agrivoltaics, Irradiance, Validation


The irradiance on 3D plants, for instance for row crops, is complex to measure. Validated irradiance modelling of 3D row crops gives detailed information about the irradiance distribution on the crop canopy. It can also be applied to investigate new or changed layouts of agri-PV systems without the need to actually build them. We modelled an agri-PV system of partially transparent PV panels integrated with a soft fruit farm using the light and PV simulation package BIGEYE. The irradiance absorbed by the canopy is calculated from the difference in irradiance above and below the plants, mimicking PARbar measurements. The simulated PARbar data is in agreement with a full analysis of the modelled total irradiance on the plant row surfaces. We also show that there is a difference in the irradiance on the plant rows below the lower and higher ends of the PV panels. Finally, the irradiance along the sides is twice as high on the top third than the bottom third. The detailed information on the irradiance distribution will be compared to observed adaptations of the plants to shading.


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H.H.M. Helsen et al., “Crop response to agrivoltaics in soft fruit production.” Abstract from AgriVoltaics conference, Piacenza, Italy (2022).

A. R. Burgers and B.B. Van Aken, “BIGEYE - simulation under shadow conditions,” presented at the 6th workshop on bifacial PV, Amsterdam, Sep. 2019.

H. Nussbaumer et al., “Accuracy of simulated data for bifacial systems with varying tilt angles and share of diffuse radiation,” Sol. Energy, vol. 197, pp. 6–21, Feb. 2020, doi:

F. de Ruijter et al., “Measurement of Light Interception by Crops under Solar Panels using PARbars.”, abstract submitted to Agrivoltaics 2023




How to Cite

Binani, A., Cesar, K., Helsen, H., Maestrini, B., de Ruijter, F., & Van Aken, B. (2024). Modelling Light Interception by Rows of Tall-Growing Crops in an Agri-PV System. AgriVoltaics Conference Proceedings, 2.

Conference Proceedings Volume


PV System Technologies

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