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A Numerical Analysis of the Solar Panel Support Structure on the Weak Ground

[+] Author Affiliations
Kang-Woo Joo, Jun Young Kim, Kwang-Sun Kim

Korea University of Technology and Education, Cheonan, Chungnam, Korea

Kyu Tae Park

TOPTEC Co., Ltd., Asan, Chungcheongnam, Korea

Paper No. IMECE2013-65549, pp. V009T10A002; 8 pages
  • ASME 2013 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 9: Mechanics of Solids, Structures and Fluids
  • San Diego, California, USA, November 15–21, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5638-3
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


The regulations for environmental issues on the use of fossil energy and the upsurge of the power demand due to the improving standard of living worldwide increasingly require the development of renewable energy sources. In particular, developing countries suffer from severe lack of energy because they do not have technical ability for large-capacity generation facilities, such as thermal or nuclear power generation plants, and financial capacity to procure the resources. Therefore, most countries are trying to develop the renewable energy sources, especially the solar generation facilities. In the solar power generation system, the structural stability of the support unit that supports the large-area solar panel is essential to ensure the high generation efficiency and the long life of the system. According to the international standards and industry practice, the solar power system must be stable against the 120 km/h wind and its life must be 20 years or longer. The solar panel for the solar generation system are made by combining ten to several tens of solar modules depending on the scale of the system. This generates a load of at least 250 kg, and if the aerodynamic force due to the strong wind is additionally applied, the severe ground settlement of the support unit on the weak ground may damage the system. In this study, the structure of the solar power system, which can operate stably in the areas with weak ground, such as Laos and Vietnam, is proposed. Diverse load distributions and structure deformations were calculated via numerical analysis, and the typical ground characteristics of the subject areas were considered to determine the structure that minimizes the settlement.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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