Ground-mounted large photovoltaic (PV) arrays are the least-cost design solution for installing PV, they account for the majority of the solar power installed today. With the increase of both the number and size of installations, the attention to their impacts in terms of land-use and land-transformation is growing, as well as concerns about landscape preservation and possible losses of ecosystem services. The community acceptance is often a barrier. The current design is generally straight-forward and is aimed to the maximize energy generation given a certain land area. This paper brings forward the idea that PV systems should be designed as an element of the landscape they belong to, according to an 'inclusive' design approach that does not focus only on the overall energy efficiency of the system, but extends to other additional ecological and landscape objectives. An original energy-design vision for on-ground PV is advanced, rooted in an original concept of 'photovoltaic landscape'. An understanding of PV landscapes in terms of patterns is given, and new patterns for PV are investigated. Based on literature new patterns for PV are assessed quantitatively in terms of land use energy intensity; and qualitatively in terms of perception-esthetics related aspects. Design domain freedom and boundary restrictions have been investigated with reference to possible negative and positive overall ecological performances; the weight of each design parameter has been qualitatively assessed, so that some first design guidelines could be formulated. Furthermore, a first quantitative approach for calculating the life cycle costs of the energy generated from PV landscapes, focusing on land use, has been proposed. The study argues that new patterns would help in allowing a better ecological performance of the PV landscape, and opens many research questions, such as the quantitative assessment of the ecological beneficial impacts generated by new PV patterns. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
|Titolo:||'Photovoltaic landscapes': Design and assessment. A critical review for a new transdisciplinary design vision|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|