In this study, numerical simulations using unsteady Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) approach with Shear Stress Transport (SST) k-ω turbulence closure are employed to investigate the wind loads and wind flow field of a ground mounted solar panel array. Atmospheric boundary layer wind profiles for open terrain roughness with Reynolds number of 2.2×106, based on the wind speed at the lower edge and the chord length of a stand-alone system, are employed. Four different wind directions (0°, 45°, 135° and 180°) are considered. The numerical modeling approach employed in this study is validated for a stand-alone solar panel system by comparing the surface pressures with the study by [1] and the velocity field with a Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) measurement carried out in the Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel I at the Western University, Canada. Analyzing the wind flow field for the array configuration shows that for 0° and 180° wind directions, all trailing rows are in the complete wake of the first windward row. It is also shown that in terms of maximum drag and lift, 0° and 180° wind directions are the critical wind directions with the first windward row being the critical row. On the other hand, in terms of overturning moment, 45° and 135° are the critical wind directions, with similar overturning moment coefficients for each row.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.