Friday, October 5, 2012

Panels in the Wind: New testing for rooftop solar

Hurricane winds

Given the tremendous impact of wind on a solar array, along with the sometimes extreme and varying wind conditions in different solar markets, a thorough understanding of how wind relates to the safety and functionality of a solar system is essential.

The issues pertaining to wind affect the entire solar value chain from manufacturers to system engineers and designers to installers. Historically, aerodynamic considerations have had a low priority in the design of a new mounting system. Ballast loads typically have been calculated and averaged out across the surface of a roof, rather than determining precisely where they are needed. Building codes and standards relating to solar have been more of a “retrofit” of existing regulations rather than an accurate reflection of the true rooftop conditions.

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