Hide/Show Apps

A Study on new Turkish ground snow load map and snow damage prevention recommendations for solar power plants

Temel, Özlem
Renewable energy sources have become an environment friendly alternative to fossil fuels. As a renewable source, solar energy becomes widespread under favor of decreasing costs in Photovoltaic (PV) cell production. Similar to the growth trend in the world, total production capacity of installed Solar Power Plants (SPP) have recently reached over 5 GW in Turkey. In a typical SPP, PV modules are mounted on steel supporting structures with a site-specific inclination angle. In the last years, damage of many PV mounting structures due to snow load has shown that characteristic ground snow load proposed in design load code TS 498 is not suitable for SPP and does not sufficiently represent regional variance of snow climate. In the present study, snow load values with 50-year mean return interval are obtained using ECMWF- ERA 5 global climate model snow data and a new ground snow load map for Turkey is proposed. Proposed map is validated by meteorological observations and compared with TS 498 snow load values on ground. Some design recommendations are made for PV supporting structures at SPP based on commonly observed snow damage patterns.