Design codes or due diligence – what’s easier to follow for wind resilient PV trackers?

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In this pv magazine webinar we will discuss the necessity and complexity of establishing a bespoke wind design code for single-axis PV trackers. We will also clarify how project developers and asset owners can assess wind tunnel reports and validate findings.

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Discussion participants

Eduardo Chillarón, PV Hardware
Alvaro Casado Portuondo, PV Hardware
David Banks, CPP

Moderators

Marian Willuhn, pv magazine

Download presentations

Joint presentation of Álvaro Casado, Eduardo Chillarón and David Banks


Speakers

Eduardo Chillarón

Head of engineering with extensive knowledge on wind effect - Engineering Manager at PVH +++ Eduardo Chillarón is a Mechanical Engineer with 13 years of experience in structural analysis and project management for top-tier customers such as Airbus, Repsol or Gestamp. For the last eight years, he has been working in the solar industry and in 2016 joined PVH as a Design and Engineering Manager.

Álvaro Casado

Mechanical engineer with project experience on tracker installations - AMEA Manager at PVH +++ Álvaro Casado is PVH’s AMEA (Africa, Middle East & Asia) Development Manager with extensive experience onsite as a project engineer in South America, Africa and Middle East. Joined the company in 2014 and has been involved in the construction of over 500 MW of solar plants.

David Banks

Principal at CPP Wind Engineering +++ Dr. David Banks is a globally recognized leader in wind loads on solar tracking systems, having directed hundreds of studies on the subject. These studies have changed how wind loads are calculated for both roof-mounted and ground-mounted solar, including new provisions in wind loading and wind tunnel testing standards. He has 25 years experience as a wind engineer. After completing aerospace engineering degrees in Canada, he completed a PhD on vortex wind loads on load-rise structures at Colorado State University. He has been with CPP since 2000, where he is a principal and a member of the board of directors.

It is widely acknowledged by the industry that close attention should be paid to a tracker’s wind resilience performance. The level of expertise, however, drops when asked what exactly to look out for. There are a few buzzwords thrown around, but for project developers and asset owners it can be challenging to assess wind tunnel reports or to find independent engineers that can adequately validate the findings.

The reason for this? There are no real design standards in place. Many source pressure coefficients and other parameters from structure codes, which are designed for mono-sloped free-standing roofs such as carports. This ignores various wind forces and has largely been dismissed as insufficient.

In this pv magazine webinar, tracker manufacturer PV Hardware will provide insight into what project developers, asset owners and independent engineering firms should bear in mind when considering a tracker installation. Resulting from insufficient design standards, the cooperation between manufacturers, asset owners and project developers is critical.

PV Hardware will be joined by wind engineering laboratory CPP’s David Banks, who will talk in greater detail about the necessity and complexity of establishing a bespoke wind design code for single-axis PV trackers. This is not without controversy, and a straightforward solution would undermine legitimate disagreements between wind experts around the globe. Whether a section model or a full aeroelastic model is needed is only the beginning of the debate. Be part of the conversation!

Content

  • Code compliance is not enough, for now
  • Due diligence for wind tunnel report reviews
  • Section model or full aeroelastic model testing
  • Wind design codes for PV trackers, when can we have one?
  • Simpler review processes after bespoke wind design Code?

Questions may be submitted beforehand and during the webinar through a chat window for a fully engaging and interactive experience.

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