Chinese solar tracker manufacturer Arctech Solar has activated what it says is the first wind tunnel in the industry.
Chief technology officer Wang Shitao told visitors to a completion ceremony, the new laboratory will test the effect of wind on trackers at speeds of up to 30m per second. With the wind tunnel scaled at 1:30, Wang said, 30m/sec equates to 90m/sec, a speed which would cover most likely real-world scenarios.
Wang, who is also convenor of tracker safety standard IEC TC82 WG7, said there are five stages of wind test. The stage I, static and stage II, dynamic levels test mainly wind resistance design. The stage III, CFD (computational fluid dynamics) and stage IV, aeroelastic levels test system stability, and the final level – referred to as AeroPlus by Arctech – examines strength and stability.
The 142m tunnel, which is 48m wide, occupies an entire factory building.
Arctech said Harbin Institute of Technology had helped with construction of the facility “due to its rich experience in wind tunnel testing and R&D of space structures” and Colorado-based engineer CPP Wind has also assisted the project.
The tunnel will initially be focused on R&D for trackers such as those destined for complex climatic environments and Arctech senior VP Rong Gang said it will help the company better answer questions from overseas customers about project design.
Arctech said the facility may also be offered up for use by third party organizations.
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