Computational fluid dynamic analysis of wind loads acting on ground mounted solar panels /

Uslu, Veysel Emre
Solar energy becomes more important day by day as a result of being part of renewable energy and increasing energy consumption. Although development of photovoltaic panels is enjoying the attention of many researchers, there has not been enough study towards determination of the loads acting on supporting structures of these systems yet. In this thesis, CFD analysis is mainly employed in order to model, analyze and understand the effects of the wind forces acting on solar panels. Also, different from previous studies in this field, this study is more focused on the consecutive placement of ground mounted solar panels and realizing the importance of the sheltering effect. Wind tunnel testing is used to verify the numerical analysis. Moreover, CFD analysis and experiments available in the literature are considered for verification of the method employed in the analyses carried out in the thesis. Steady state SST k- turbulence model is considered in CFD analysis. Both 2D and 3D analyses are carried out, and it is observed that for the case of solar panel arrangements considered in this thesis, 2D analyses provides accurate results with robust modelling and solution in terms of computation time. Thus, 2D analyses approach is undertaken in the parametric analyses presented in the later part of the thesis, where sheltering effect in solar farms is investigated by considering 10 rows of panels. Parametric analyses are performed for both forward and reverse wind flows by considering panel length, clear height from the ground, spacing between 2 consecutive solar panels and tilt angle (inclination) as variables.


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Citation Formats
V. E. Uslu, “Computational fluid dynamic analysis of wind loads acting on ground mounted solar panels /,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2014.