A report published by the Rocky Mountain Institute makes recommendations for rooftop PV in regions affected by high winds. The study draws on the knowledge of structural engineers asked to analyze 25 solar systems across five Caribbean islands after they were hit by major hurricanes in 2017 and last year.
The discussion about wind damage in PV structures is getting louder and more heated, especially with rapid single-axis tracker growth in many markets. Whether it’s social media comments on failure photos, or one side of the profession taking shots at another in the press, the dialogue is at risk of becoming cynical. Simon Hughes, partner at technical and commercial energy consultancy Everoze, shines a light on four things that need to happen next, as well as the need for more dialogue between stakeholders.
In part two of this feature on wind resilience in the PV industry, the lack of structural codes comes into focus. Weather events, and wind above all, are the most common causes of failure for PV plants. In the United States, the first steps have been taken to catch up with other industries and a dedicated chapter for PV is set to be included in the next update of the American Society of Civil Engineers code. In Europe, no such plans are in place.