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Designing for Wind in the Age of Mass Solar Tracker Deployment

Reliable solar trackers don’t come easy. Applying wind design analysis and engineering into any solar tracker architecture involves extensive research, testing and complex engineering that extends far beyond the reach of published standards. As solar deployment expands into new, highly competitive markets, utilizing wind engineering analysis to guide robust tracker design and stow requirements help guarantee reliable long-term operation.

Since informed developers and asset owners focus on the true levelized cost of energy (LCOE) at the end of life of systems with expected design lives of 25-35 years, advanced dynamic wind analysis of each tracker system is critical in predicting required operations and maintenance costs, and facilitating the continued success of utility and large-scale distributed generation solar around the world.

Key audience takeaways and questions:

  • Code-based design shortcomings: When determining design loads, owners require a code-based design. Yet solar trackers are not accurately represented in most structural codes.
  • Talking financials: race to the bottom vs reliability and quality practices
  • Dynamic effects of wind on PV structures are critical to upfront design
  • When and how to stow to best protect your asset long-term
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