Application of organic photo-voltaic films on fruit trees: a proof of concept for a self-sustainable orchard
Gianmarco Bortolotti is a PhD student at the Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences of the University of Bologna, Italy. He participated in the International Symposium on Precision Management of Orchards and Vineyards, presenting innovative system integration of fruit trees and energy co-production. The study determined that more than 50% of the hail-net surface of an orchard can be covered by organic photovoltaic (OPV) films without decreasing plant performance. This was the initial concept of his research within the ecophysiology group led by Professor Luca Corelli Grappadelli. Gianmarco also examined the physiological/efficiency aspects of innovative orchard designs, precision orchard management (POM) techniques, and new technology applications. Among these three main topics he is actively participating in the development of a multifunctional hail-net solution (MHS) – photovoltaic with protection from hail, insects, rain – where the main aim is to take advantage of the electrical production for supporting the energy consumption needed for the fruit growth process. Moreover, within the MHS trial, Gianmarco is involved in the development of a totally automated irrigation system driven by plant-based sensors. He is evaluating a “dynamic” cultural coefficient based on the microclimate/physiological status of the tree induced by the innovative hail-net solution. Gianmarco has a multi-disciplinary project combining automation, sensors, and other innovative technologies on 2D multi-axe training systems. The aim is to quantify the advantages/disadvantages of these technologies compared to traditional 3D training systems.
Gianmarco Bortolotti won the ISHS Young Minds Award for the best oral presentation at the International Symposium on Precision Management of Orchards and Vineyards in Italy in October 2019.
Gianmarco Bortolotti, Dept. of Agricultural and Food Sciences – DISTAL, Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, Viale Fanin 46, 40127 Bologna, e-mail: email@example.com
The article is available in Chronica Horticulturae