Wind can stress or damage solar panels and arrays, reducing their efficiency and requiring costly maintenance or replacement.
By understanding the wind environment at the location of the panels and the effects the wind will have, you can avoid unnecessary replacement or maintenance and increase the cost efficiency of solar power at your site
Though each project is unique, common issues include:
Wind damage to roof-mounted panels.
We can test the effects of wind on roof-mounted panels, recommend the minimal effective ballast, and assess the wind interactions with solar panels, exhaust stacks, HVAC units, penthouses, parapets, and other roof features.
Wind damage to solar panel arrays
Panels on the outer ring of an array can act as wind shields for the inner panels. Because of this, the outer panels experience higher wind loads and more potential damage. We find the specific wind effects and work with you to find the right solution for the project.
Inaccurate computer wind simulations.
Many projects use computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to simulate wind effects on solar panels. Without a clear understanding of wind characteristics, turbulence, and the physics behind CFD, results can be incorrect or misleading. We apply our advanced expertise in CFD and physical modeling to arrive at reliable, accurate results.
Building code obstacles
Building code inspectors and authorities do not accept CFD reports unless they are validated through acceptable engineering methods like wind tunnel testing. Contact us before the permitting process to avoid costly delays or unusable simulations.
In addition to wind tunnel modeling and CFD simulations, we have full-scale testing capabilities for projects that do not lend themselves to scaling. We work with you to understand the details and priorities of your project so that we apply the right tools and methods for your needs.
Wind-related problems change with the local wind environment, nearby terrain, surrounding buildings and vegetation, and the shape, weight, and positioning of solar panels. We look at all the relevant details to provide you with accurate and useful information.
Contact CPP to discuss your solar energy project and to prevent or mitigate problems that wind may cause.
Wind & Roof-Mounted Panels: A Common Scenario (Less Technical)
Solar Modules on Flat Roofs - Why Worry About Wind? (More Technical)
Read the article, Wind Load Analysis for Commercial Roof-Mounted Arrays, published in the June/July 2012 edition of SolarPro and co-authored by Coleen O'Brian and Dr. David Banks.