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Wind and Structures
  Volume 27, Number 1, July 2018 , pages 41-57

Effect of structure configurations and wind characteristics on the design of solar concentrator support structure under dynamic wind action
Bassem Kaabia, Sébastien Langlois and Sébastien Maheux

    Concentrated Solar Photovoltaic (CPV) is a promising alternative to conventional solar structures. These solar tracking structures need to be optimized to be competitive against other types of energy production. In particular, the selection of the structural parameters needs to be optimized with regards to the dynamic wind response. This study aims to evaluate the effect of the main structural parameters, as selected in the preliminary design phase, on the wind response and then on the weight of the steel support structure. A parametric study has been performed where parameters influencing dynamic wind response are varied. The study is performed using a semi-deterministic time-domain wind analysis method. Unsteady aerodynamic model is applied for the shape of the CPV structure collector at different configurations in conjunction with a consistent mass-spring-damper model with the corresponding degrees of freedom to describe the dynamic response of the system. It is shown that, unlike the static response analysis, the variation of the peak wind response with many structural parameters is highly nonlinear because of the dynamic wind action. A steel structural optimization process reveals that close attention to structural and site wind parameters could lead to optimal design of CPV steel support structure.
Key Words
    solar concentrator structure; finite element analysis; wind simulation; dynamic effect; wind load optimization
Bassem Kaabia, Sébastien Langlois and Sébastien Maheux: Department of Civil Engineering, Université de Sherbrooke, 2500 boul. de l\'Université, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada, J1K2R1

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