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Wind and Structures
  Volume 5, Number 5, September 2002 , pages 393-406

Wind loads on a solar array
G. A. Kopp, D. Surry and K. Chen

    Aerodynamic pressures and forces were measured on a model of a solar panel containing six slender, parallel modules. Of particular importance to system design is the aerodynamically induced torque. The peak system torque was generally observed to occur at approach wind angles near the diagonals of the panel (45o, 135o, 225o and 315o ) although large loads also occurred at 270o, where windrnis in the plane of the panel, perpendicular to the individual modules. In this case, there was strong vortex shedding from the in-line modules, due to the observation that the module spacing was near the critical value for wake buffeting. The largest loads, however, occurred at a wind angle where there was limited vortex shedding (330o). In this case, the bulk of the fluctuating torque came from turbulent velocityrnfluctuations, which acted in a quasi-steady sense, in the oncoming flow. A simple, quasi-steady, model for determining the peak system torque coefficient was developed.
Key Words
    wind loads; solar array; vortex shedding; wake buffeting.
Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel Laboratory, Faculty of Engineering Science,rnUniversity of Western Ontario, London, ON, N6A 5B9, CanadarnPhotovoltaics International LLC, Sunnyvale, CA, 94086, USA

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