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Smart tracker design enabled by advanced testing

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Next generation of wind tunnel testing can increase confidence for PV plant owners.


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Bernd Zwingmann, Senior Engineer, SBP

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Arctech Solar Webinar Presentation

Smart tracker design enabled by advanced testing

Discover how innovative new wind tunnel testing methodology is taking the guess work out of tracker design, and ensuring systems are designed to withstand heavy wind loads. Join our webinar, in partnership with Arctech Solar, who have developed an advanced method of wind tunnel testing and analysis, which adds allowing it to design tracker systems to reduce the risks posed by high or sustained wind events.

This new methodology with its advantages will  explained by wind tunnel testing expert David Banks, a principal at CPP in Colorado, Bernd Zwingmann, a senior engineer at Germany’s SBP and Arctech Solar’s global director of engineering Pedro Magalhães. While standard wind tunnel testing can leave some trackers vulnerable to torsional galloping and the resultant module and structural damage, Arctech Solar engineers claim that its new methodology delivers certainty and confidence to owners, developers and investors.

Join our pv magazine webinar to find out about Arctech Solar’s groundbreaking wind tunnel process, and the importance of designing tracking arrays that are resilient in the face of high winds

Webinar Content:

  • An explanation of the dangers posed by high and sustained winds to single axis trackers
  • A presentation of the new wind testing methodology, its advantages, and how it can be applied to best design a tracking array for sites where high winds may present challenges
  • An independent analysis of the new wind testing methodology
  • First hand experience as to the importance of designing tracking arrays that are resilient in the face of high winds

Be part of the conversation!

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



Pedro Magalhães, Director, Global Engineering and R&D, Arctech Solar

Pedro HSV Magalhães started his PV career in Madrid, Spain, back in 2003, designing and engineering trackers for Concentration PV. When PV was transitioning from the laboratory to a mass industry, Pedro moved to the USA and had the opportunity to deploy tracker solutions in the ever-growing PV market. His career spans over several facets of the industry, from product development of PV components, plant engineering to business development of EPC services. Pedro has a deep understanding of PV tracker technology and what it takes to design a reliable product that will last for decades out in the field. His first tracker specific wind tunnel test was done together with CPP in 2009. Pedro published several tracker specific scientific papers and co-authored the trackers chapter of the CPV Handbook by Wiley. After graduating in mechanical engineering in his hometown of Porto, Portugal Pedro completed a MsC in PV Engineering in Madrid, Spain. Currently Pedro is the Director of Global Engineering and R&D at Arctech Solar, where he heads tracker product development and works with owners, developers and EPCs deploying PV in 4 continents.

David Banks, Principal at CPP Wind Engineering Consultants

Banks leads Solar Services and Special Projects at CPP. Using both wind tunnels and computational fluid dynamics (CFD), the Special Projects group helps clients with issues like window size for adequate natural ventilation, wind-related comfort, high winds at remote sites, and wind problems with doors. The Solar Services group oversees CPP studies into wind loads on solar panels, where they help clients with projects that involve ballast for roof mounted solar panels, wind-related risks for ground mounted solar racking systems, and potential damage to solar panels from wind-blown sand and dust. This kind of engineering often requires the development of new test methods and analysis techniques, which often puts David and his team at the innovative edge of the industry. As a result, Banks continues to contribute the codes and publications that expand the multitude of knowledge in wind engineering. His most recent contribution is as a co-author of the SEAOC PV2 guidelines for wind loads on roof mounted solar panels. David is a recognized leader in technical innovation throughout the industry.

Bernd Zwingmann, senior structural engineer, SBP

Zwingmann joined schlaich bergermann partner (sbp) in 2009 with the main focus on the development of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) technology. He is responsible for the dish-Stirling, parabolic trough, and heliostat design. The lightweight, movable CSP structures are designed to reflect the sun light and concentrate its bundled heat energy to produce electricity. As wind load is the governing load case for CSP structures Dr. Zwingmann has a wide experience in the analysis of wind loading. Over the past two years Dr. Zwingmann's expertise was widely used by the PV tracker industry to carry out due diligence services. He reviewed a great part of the PV trackers designed by the world’s leading suppliers as part of site specific third-party design reviews. This service covers all important structural considerations such as site conditions, code application, wind tunnel tests, static design, aeroelastic instability and connection detail checks. This holistic approach on different technologies makes him an expert in the review of PV trackers.


Jonathan Gifford | Editor in chief, pv magazine

While overseeing pv magazine‘s Australian website, Jonathan also reports on equipment supply, thin film and Australasia for the global print edition and online. With a background in broadcast journalism for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Deutsche Welle and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Jonathan has been reporting on environmental and technology issues since 2005. He has been with pv magazine since 2011.

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