Dynamic agrivoltaics, climate protection for grapevine driven by artificial intelligence
Context and purpose of the study
The year-on-year rise in temperatures and the increase in extreme weather events due to climate change are already having an impact on agriculture. Among the perennial fruit species, grapevine is already negatively impacted by these events through an acceleration of its phenology, more damage from late frosts or through an increase in the sugar level of the berries (and therefore the alcoholic degree of the wine) and a decrease of acidity, impacting the wine quality. Sun’Agri, in partnership with INRAE, Chambre d’agriculture du Vaucluse, Chambre d’agriculture des Pyrénées-Orientales and IFV, developed a protection system based on dynamic agrivoltaics to protect grapevine. It consists of photovoltaic solar panels positioned above the crop, high enough not to impede the passage of agricultural machinery, and tiltable from +/- 90° to adjust the level of shading on the vineyard. These smart louvers, driven by artificial intelligence (physical models & plant growth models), are steered according to the plant’s needs and provide real climate protection.
Material and methods
10 rows of ~40 plants of Grenache N. were monitored under two dynamic agrivoltaic systems in Piolenc (44°10’30.95’’N 4°47’52.74’’E) between 2019 and 2022. Microclimatic variables, phenology, dynamics of the grapevine water status and characterization of yield and quality (berry and vine) were measured. A large-scale dynamic agrivoltaic system of 4.5 ha in Tresserre (42°32’47.25’’N 2°51’51.21’’E) complements the response at a commercial level (including other grape varieties).
Steering the panels throughout the season have demonstrated the system’s ability to let light through during critical growth phases while providing maximum protection when needed to mitigate climate change effects. Shading reduces air temperature under the structure. Furthermore, shading also decreases evapotranspiration leading to a more comfortable plant water status with less irrigation under the panels than control. The active regulation of irradiation during the season not only avoids undesirable effects on clusters (shriveling) but also modifies the quality of the berries leading to a preservation of wine organoleptic properties.
Issue: GiESCO 2023
aSun’Agri, Lyon, 69005, France
bSun’R Groupe, Paris, 75009, France
cUMR LEPSE, Univ Montpellier, INRAE, Institut Agro, Montpellier, France
dUE Pech Rouge, Univ Montpellier, INRAE, Gruissan, France
eChambre d’Agriculture du Vaucluse, Orange, France
fChambre d’Agriculture des Pyrénées-Orientales, Perpignan, France
gInstitut Français de la Vigne et du Vin, Pôle Rhône-Méditerranée, Rodilhan, France