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The Role of Floating Solar Energy Systems in the Energy-Land Use Nexus: A Case Study on the Potential for South African Wineries



Prinsloo, F.C. and Lombard, A. (2015). The Role of Floating Solar Energy Systems in the Energy-Land Use Nexus: A Case Study on the Potential for South African Wineries. 2nd Annual International Conference of the Journal of Green Economy and Development (JGED), Kloof, South Africa. #floatovoltaics The South African Government are working on the introduction of a carbon tax (green-tax, eco-tax, environmental tax) for implementation by the year 2016. Floating solar photovoltaic technology (FSPV or FPV) or floatovoltaics are seen as viable carbon footprint reduction solutions. Some of the latest changes expected in the final carbon tax is the inclusion of a formula to adjust the basic percentage tax-free threshold to reward over-performance (energy sold back into the Eskom-grid). It is believed that this carbon tax formula and associated incentives will provide the Agricultural Industry with the necessary incentives needed to push the Agricultural economy onto a low-carbon growth trajectory. However, interactions between agricultural produce, energy and preservation are driving potential land-use changes. The energy-land use nexus provides a framework for approaching policy to minimize points of conflict between energy goals on the one hand and agricultural land conservation/food production on the other. This study reports on issues around the land-use nexus in deploying floating solar PV systems in the vineyards of local wineries as part of bio-diversification, as well as on the socio-economic benefits and carbon tax implications for such developments. It also emphasises aspects around social impact assessment. This research forms part of a larger study on the environmental, technological, economic and sustainability considerations in implementing floating solar systems in vineyards of the Western Cape Winelands, based on lessons learnt from the USA Napa valley wine region and other international floating solar projects. #floatingsolar Keywords: sustainable wine farming, winery vineyard floatovoltaics, floating solar systems, irrigation pond solar, pontoon solar, solar power energy, renewable energy, carbon footprint analysis, carbon tax
The Role of Floating Solar Systems in the Energy-Land Use Nexus:
A Case Study on the Potential for South African Wineries
FC Prinsloo*, A Lombard
Department of Geography, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, UNISA, South Africa
In the year 2008, the European Union for example
introduced a plan to pay farmers a subsidy to uproot
their grapes (European Commission, 2008). The main
thrust was withdraw around 175,000 hectares of
vineyards from wine production in order to reduce
oversupply, reduce production of uncompetitive
wines, and compensate producers by offering
alternatives. At the same time, the EU was offering
attractive solar energy subsidies, resulting in wine
farmers uprooting vineyards in exchange for solar
power plant installations (Forum, 2009).
European Commission (2008). Reform of the EU wine market. European Commission, Agriculture and Rural Development: Adopted by the Council of Ministers in April 2008, EC Regulation 479/2008 and 555/2008, pp. 12.
IRENA (2015). Renewable energy in the water, energy and food nexus. International Renewable Energy Agency, , no. January, pp. 1125.
Pentland, W. (2011). Napa Winery Pioneers Solar Floatovoltaics. Forbes Business, no. August, pp. 13.
Trapani, K. and Santafe, M. (2014). A review of floating photovoltaic installations: 2007-2013. Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications, Wiley Publications, vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 524532. ISSN 10627995.
Ringler, C., Bhaduri, A. and Lawford, R. (2013 December). The nexus across water, energy, land and food (WELF): potential for improved resource use efficiency? Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, vol. 5, no. 6, pp. 1877-3435.
Sahu, Y., Shahabuddin, M. and Agrawal, P. (2015). Floating solar photovoltaic system an emerging technology. National Seminar on Prospects and challenges of electrical Power Industry in India, pp. 219227.
Singh, G. (2013). Solar power generation by PV (photovoltaic) technology: A review. Review Article Energy, vol. 53, pp. 113.
Smyth, M., Russell, J. and Milanowski, T. (2011). Solar Energy in the Winemaking Industry. London: Springer-Verlag.
SolarGIS (2012). SolarGIS Database version 1.8 satellite-derived solar radiation and meteorological data. GeoModel Solar, pp. 112.
Sunengy. (2015). Tracking solar Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) technology. Available from
World Economic Forum (2009). Green Investing: Reducing the Cost of Financing. World Economic Forum, , no. January, pp. 156.
The arable-land-conserving answer is to physically
locate the solar array in winerys irrigation pond. A
tracking concentrated solar system as shown in Fig 3,
has the added advantage that waste heat can be
recovered from the solar system in order to make hot
water that can be used in the winery.
Water, energy, land, food nexus
The water, energy, land and food (WELF) nexus
concept is a valuable tool to study viticulture and
oenology sustainability scenarios in terms of food
production, land-, energy- and water-resource
interactions and optimization (Ringler, 2013). It is
proposed in this study that such nexus parameters
further be used in the geographical evaluation of
floating solar energy and space optimization
opportunities in environmental management plans for
local wine farms in the Western Cape wine region. This
concept further promotes environmental and
economical sustainability, by effectively using the
limited space on the wine farm and ensuring the
productivity of land space which vineyards need.
Floating solar renewable energy technology provide
access to a cost-effective, secure and environmentally
sustainable supply of energy. Their rapid growth can
have substantial spill-over effects in the water and
food sectors. Yet detailed knowledge on the role
renewable energy can play in the nexus remains
limited and widely dispersed. Renewable Energy in the
Water, Energy and Food Nexus aims to bridge this gap,
providing the broad analysis that has been lacking on
the interactions of renewable energy within those key
sectors. Global and country-specific cases to highlight
how renewable energy can address the trade-off's,
helping to address the world's pressing water, energy
and food challenges (IRENA, 2015).
Floating solar PV panels provide electrical power
without harming or causing damage to the nature by
directly transforming the suns energy into electricity
(Singh, 2013). These adaptation methods not only
reduce the carbon footprint, increase water
preservation, help with algal growth control, and thus
ensure more sustainable development of the wineries.
Solar renewable energy
As renewable energies such as solar energy are
gaining popularity in the wine making industry (Smyth,
2011). Emerging technology concepts such as solar
farms have taken on a new meaning after the advent
of the floating solar photovoltaic system (Sahu, 2015).
A floating solar farm integrates existing land based
type photovoltaic technology with the newly
developed pontoon floating photovoltaic technology.
Fig. 2. Solar atlas for South Africa (SolarGIS, 2015)
Fig. 3. Concentrated Solar floating solar system
(Sunengy, 2015)
Fig. 1. Floating solar at Far Niente, USA Napa Valley
(Trapani and Santafe, 2014)
International developments
Pioneering work of the Far Niente winery in the USA
Napa Valley who installed the world's first so-called
Floatovoltaic system. This over-water grid-connected
pontoon floating solar renewable energy installation
was installed over the irrigation dam of the farm,
where it is surrounded by the vineyards. It saved the
owners considerable losses, for there was no need to
uproot valuable historic vineyards to create land scape
for the installation of a solar power system, as was
done with the vineyards in many other countries
before (Pentland, 2011). In order for the solar system
to provide sufficient power to the winery, the size of
the installation requires significant land. If located in
the vineyard, a large amount of the grape growing
land would be lost to the photovoltaic array.
Prinsloo, F.C. and Lombard, A. (2015). The Role of Floating Solar Energy Systems in the Energy-Land Use Nexus: A Case Study on the Potential for
South African Wineries. 2nd Annual International Conference of the Journal of Green Economy and Development (JGED), Kloof, South Africa.
Full-text available
Prinsloo, G.J., Dobson, R.T. (2015). Solar Tracking. Stellenbosch: SolarBooks. ISBN 978-0-620-61576-1, p 1-542. DOI: 10.13140/2.1.2748.3201 Free to download eBook on Practical Solar Tracking Design, following the sun solar tracking system, sun tracking system, sun tracker system, solar tracker system, sun positioning system, and sun path tracking with follow the sun position calculation (azimuth, elevation, zenith), sun trajectory, sun following system, sunrise tracking, sunset tracking, sunlight-phases, dawn, dusk, moon-phase, twilight, moonrise, moonset calculator. Solar Tracking is a key Technology to unlock the full potential of RE in RES. In harnessing power from the sun through a solar tracker or solar tracking system and following the sun, renewable energy system developers require automatic solar tracking software and solar position algorithms. As a result of the apparent motion of the sun, a sun path on-axis sun tracking system such as the altitude-azimuth dual axis or multi-axis solar tracker systems use a sun tracking algorithm or ray tracing sensors or software to ensure the sun's passage through the sky is traced with high precision in automated solar tracker applications, right through summer solstice, solar equinox and winter solstice using sun positional astronomy. In general, this book may benefit solar research, sun surveying, sun position applet, solar energy harvesting, solar energy tracker and sun tracking solar panel applications in countries such as Africa, Mediterranean, Italy, Spain, Greece, USA, Mexico, South America, Brazilia, Argentina, Chili, India, Malaysia, Middle East, UAE, Russia, Japan and China. This book on practical automatic Solar-Tracking Sun-Tracking is in .PDF format and can easily be converted to the solar tracking system sun tracking system .EPUB .MOBI .AZW .ePub .FB2 .LIT .LRF .MOBI .PDB .PDF .TCR formats for smartphones and Kindle by using the facility. From sun tracing software perspective, the sonnet Tracing The Sun has a literal meaning. Within the context of sun track and trace, this book explains that the sun's daily path across the sky is directed by relatively simple principles, and if grasped/understood, then it is relatively easy to trace the sun with sun following software. Sun Surveyor and Sun Position computer software for tracing the sun are available as open source code, sources that is listed in this book. This book also describes the use of satellite tracking software and mechanisms in solar tracking applications using Sun Microsystems, Raspberry Pi, Arduino computing platform, Kodi software and other USB based processor architecture. Using solar equations in an electronic circuit for solar tracking is quite simple, even if you are a novice, but mathematical solar equations are over complicated by academic experts and professors in text-books, journal articles and internet websites. In terms of solar hobbies, scholars, students and Hobbyist's looking at solar tracking electronics or PC programs for solar tracking are usually overcome by the sheer volume of scientific material and internet resources, which leaves many developers in frustration when search for simple experimental solar tracking source-code for their on-axis sun-tracking systems. This booklet will simplify the search for the mystical sun tracking formulas for your sun tracker innovation and help you develop your own autonomous solar tracking controller. By directing the solar collector directly into the sun, a solar harvesting means or device can harness sunlight or thermal heat. This is achieved with the help of sun angle formulas, solar angle formulas or solar tracking procedures for the calculation of sun's position in the sky. Automatic sun tracking system software includes algorithms for solar altitude azimuth angle calculations required in following the sun across the sky. In using the longitude, latitude GPS coordinates of the solar tracker location, these sun tracking software tools supports precision solar tracking by determining the solar altitude-azimuth coordinates for the sun trajectory in altitude-azimuth tracking at the tracker location, using certain sun angle formulas in sun vector calculations. Instead of follow the sun software, a sun tracking sensor such as a sun sensor or camera with vision based sun following image processing software can also be used to determine the position of the sun optically. Such optical feedback devices are commonly used in solar panel tracking systems and dish tracking systems. Dynamic sun tracing is also used in solar surveying and sun surveying systems that build solar radiance, irradiance and DNI models for GIS (geographical information system) and database systems. In such solar resource modelling systems, a pyranometer or solarimeter is used in addition to measure direct and indirect, scattered, dispersed, reflective radiation for a particular geographical location. Sunlight analysis is important in flash photography where photographic lighting are important for photographers. GIS systems are used by architects who add sun shadow applets to study architectural shading or sun shadow analysis, solar flux calculations, optical modelling or to perform weather modelling. Such systems often employ a computer operated telescope type mechanism with ray tracing program software as a solar navigator or sun tracer that determines the solar position and intensity. Many open-source sun following and tracking algorithms and source-code for solar tracking programs and modules are freely available to download on the internet today. The purpose of this booklet is to assist developers to track and trace suitable source-code and solar tracking algorithms for their application, whether a hobbyist, scientist, technician or engineer. The solar library used by solar position calculators, solar simulation software and solar contour calculators include machine program code for the solar hardware controller which are software programmed into Micro-controllers, Programmable Logic Controllers PLC, programmable gate arrays, Arduino processor or PIC processor. PC based solar tracking is also high in demand using C++, Visual Basic VB, as well as Windows and Mac based software for sun path tables on Matlab, Excel. Some books and internet webpages use other terms, such as: sun angle calculator, sun position calculator or solar angle calculator. As said, such software code calculate the solar azimuth angle, solar altitude angle, solar elevation angle or the solar Zenith angle (Zenith solar angle is simply referenced from vertical plane, the mirror of the elevation angle measured from the horizontal or ground plane level). Similar software code is also used in solar calculator apps or the solar power calculator apps for IOS and Android smartphone devices. Most of these smartphone solar mobile apps show the sun path and sun-angles for any location and date over a 24 hour period. Some smartphones include augmented reality features in which you can physically see and look at the solar path through your cell phone camera or mobile phone camera at your phone's specific GPS location. Software algorithms predicting position of the sun in the sky are commonly available as Java applets, C++ code, Basic, GBasic and QBasic code, Matlab and Simulink procedures, TRNSYS simulations, Scada system apps, Labview module, mobile and iphone apps, tablet apps, and so forth. At the same time, PLC software code for a range of sun tracking automation technology (mechatronic, electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic drives and motors) can follow the profile of sun in sky for Siemens, HP, Panasonic, ABB, Allan Bradley, OMRON, SEW, Festo, Beckhoff, Rockwell, Schneider, Yokonawa, or Muthibishi platforms. Sun path projection software are also available for a range of processors, including Siemens S7-1200 or Siemens Logo, OMRON PLC, Ercam PLC, AC500plc ABB, National Instruments, PIC processor, Arduino, and so forth. Analogue or digital interfacing ports on these processors allow for tracking orientation angle feedback through one or a combination of angle sensor or angle encoder, shaft encoder, precision encoder, optical encoder, magnetic encoder, direction encoder, rotational encoder, tilt sensor, inclination sensor, or pitch sensor. Note that the tracker's elevation or zenith axis angle may measured with an altitude angle, declination angle, inclination angle, pitch angle, or vertical angle, zenith axis. Similarly the tracker's azimuth axis angle be measured with a azimuth angle sensor, horizontal angle, roll angle sensor. Many solar tracker applications cover a wide spectrum of solar energy and concentrated solar devices, including solar power generation, solar desalination, solar water purification, solar steam generation, solar electricity generation, solar industrial process heat, solar thermal heat storage, solar food dryers, hydrogen production from methane or producing hydrogen and oxygen from water (HHO). Many patented or non-patented solar apparatus include tracking in solar apparatus for solar electric generator, solar desalinator, solar steam engine, solar ice maker, solar water purifier, solar cooling, solar refrigeration, USB solar charger, solar phone charging, portable solar charging tracker, solar cooking or solar dying means. Your project may be the next breakthrough or patent, but your invention is held back by frustration in search for the sun tracker you require for your solar powered appliance, solar generator, solar tracker robot, solar freezer, solar cooker, solar drier, solar freezer, or solar dryer project. Whether your solar electronic circuit diagram include a simplified solar controller design in a solar electricity project, solar power kit, solar hobby kit, solar steam generator, solar hot water system, solar ice maker, solar desalinator, hobbyist solar panels, hobby robot, or if you are developing professional or hobby electronics for a solar utility or micro scale solar powerplant for your own solar farm or solar farming, this publication may help accelerate the development of your solar tracking innovation. Lately, solar polygeneration, solar trigeneration (solar triple generation), and solar quad generation (adding delivery of steam, liquid/gaseous fuel, or capture food-grade CO$_2$) systems have need for automatic solar tracking. These systems are known for significant efficiency increases in energy yield as a result of the integration and re-use of waste or residual heat and are suitable for compact packaged micro solar powerplants that could be manufactured and transported in kit-form and operate on a plug-and play basis. Typical hybrid solar power systems include compact or packaged solar micro combined heat and power (CHP or mCHP) or solar micro combined, cooling, heating and power (CCHP or mCCHP) systems used in distributed power generation. These systems are often combined in concentrated solar CSP and CPV smart microgrid configurations for off-grid rural, island or isolated microgrid and distributed power renewable energy systems. Solar tracking algorithms are also used in modelling of trigeneration systems using Matlab and Simulink platform as well as in automation and control of renewable energy systems through intelligent multi-objective and adaptive learning control and control optimization strategies. Solar tracking algorithms also find application in developing solar models for country or location specific solar studies, for example in terms of measuring or analysis of the fluctuations of the solar radiation (i.e. direct and diffuse radiation) in a particular area. Solar DNI and irradiance information and models can thus be integrated into a solar map, solar atlas or geographical information systems (GIS). Such models allows for defining local parameters for specific regions that may be valuable in terms of the evaluation of different solar in photovoltaic of CSP systems on simulation and synthesis platforms such as Matlab and Simulink or in linear or multi-objective optimization algorithm platforms such as COMPOSE, EnergyPLAN or DER-CAM. A dual-axis solar tracker and single-axis solar tracker may use a sun tracker program or sun tracker algorithm to position a solar dish, solar panel array, heliostat array, PV panel, solar antenna or infrared solar nantenna. A self-tracking solar concentrator performs automatic solar tracking by computing the solar vector. Solar position algorithms (TwinCAT, SPA, or PSA Algorithms) use an astronomical algorithm to calculate the position of the sun. It uses astronomical software algorithms and equations for solar tracking in the calculation of sun's position in the sky for each location on the earth at any time of day. Like an optical solar telescope, the solar position algorithm pin-points the solar reflector at the sun and locks onto the sun's position to track the sun across the sky as the sun progresses throughout the day. Optical sensors such as photodiodes, light-dependant-resistors (LDR) or photoresistors are used as optical accuracy feedback devices. Lately we also included a section in the book (with links to microprocessor code) on how the PixArt Wii infrared camera in the Wii remote or Wiimote may be used in infrared solar tracking applications. In order to harvest free energy from the sun, some automatic solar positioning systems use an optical means to direct the solar tracking device. These solar tracking strategies use optical tracking techniques, such as a sun sensor means, to direct sun rays onto a silicon or CMOS substrate to determine the X and Y coordinates of the sun's position. In a solar mems sun-sensor device, incident sunlight enters the sun sensor through a small pin-hole in a mask plate where light is exposed to a silicon substrate. In a web-camera or camera image processing sun tracking and sun following means, object tracking software performs multi object tracking or moving object tracking methods. In an solar object tracking technique, image processing software performs mathematical processing to box the outline of the apparent solar disc or sun blob within the captured image frame, while sun-localization is performed with an edge detection algorithm to determine the solar vector coordinates. An automated positioning system help maximize the yields of solar power plants through solar tracking control to harness sun's energy. In such renewable energy systems, the solar panel positioning system uses a sun tracking techniques and a solar angle calculator in positioning PV panels in photovoltaic systems and concentrated photovoltaic CPV systems. Automatic on-axis solar tracking in a PV solar tracking system can be dual-axis sun tracking or single-axis sun solar tracking. It is known that a motorized positioning system in a photovoltaic panel tracker increase energy yield and ensures increased power output, even in a single axis solar tracking configuration. Other applications such as robotic solar tracker or robotic solar tracking system uses robotica with artificial intelligence in the control optimization of energy yield in solar harvesting through a robotic tracking system. Automatic positioning systems in solar tracking designs are also used in other free energy generators, such as concentrated solar thermal power CSP and dish Stirling systems. The sun tracking device in a solar collector in a solar concentrator or solar collector Such a performs on-axis solar tracking, a dual axis solar tracker assists to harness energy from the sun through an optical solar collector, which can be a parabolic mirror, parabolic reflector, Fresnel lens or mirror array/matrix. A parabolic dish or reflector is dynamically steered using a transmission system or solar tracking slew drive mean. In steering the dish to face the sun, the power dish actuator and actuation means in a parabolic dish system optically focuses the sun's energy on the focal point of a parabolic dish or solar concentrating means. A Stirling engine is located at the focal point of the solar concentration. This is typically referred to as a dish Stirling system or Stirling power generation through a dish Stirling engine system. Using exergy analysis principles, several exergetic variables are used to identify the strength and limitations of a system. (parola chiave: inseguimento solare inseguitore solare energia termica sole seguito posizionatore motorizzato energia rinnovabile Renewable Energy Technologies Concentrated Solar Power Controllo automatico Satellite tracking Oggetto di monitoraggio Smart Grid solari Sun monitoraggio energia solare Stirling microgrids Efficienza Energetica Exergia Analisi energetici gratuiti).
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