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08.18.15 | Wind Design of Solar Photovoltaic Arrays

The web seminar will discuss the wind design of roof-mounted and ground-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays in accordance with ASCE 7 analytical procedures. ASCE 7-10 and 7-05 do not contain a direct analytical method for calculating wind loads on roof-mounted PV arrays on enclosed structures. The Structural Engineers Association of California has developed guidelines in Report SEAOC PV2-2012 for determining the wind loads for sloped PV arrays on flat roofs of enclosed structures. This report provides the basis for provisions for such solar structures being adopted into ASCE 7-16. The recommendations in Report SEAOC PV2-2012 and their adoption into ASCE 7-16 will be discussed. ASCE 7 does have design methods that can be easily applied for determining the static wind loads on ground-mounted tilted PV arrays. However, these methods are not ideal for optimizing wind loads on arrays of ground mounted PV structures, as the load patterns are oversimplified for some load effects, and they are intended for an isolated carport, rather than multiples rows of PV racking. The implications will be discussed.The wind tunnel procedure in ASCE 7 will also be discussed with emphasis on what constitutes an acceptable test method to develop generalized wind loads. Amendments in the International Building Code related to wind loads on solar PV arrays will be briefly discussed.
Examples for a PV array mounted near to and parallel to a sloped roof, sloped PV array on a flat roof, and a ground-supported array will be presented.