Wind Load on Solar Panels Analysis Spreadsheet to BRE Digest 489
If you consider installing Solar Panels on your, or your client's, roof then this is the tool for you. It will help you check whether this is feasible by calculating required ballast weight / fixings forces / roof loads from wind acting on Solar Panels (also called: solar modules, photovoltaic modules, photovoltaic panels or PV modules). The design is in accordance with BRE Digest 489.
This spreadsheet is extremely easy to follow, and no engineering knowledge is required to use it. This is achieved by maximising automatic calculations; and thanks to a pop-up UK & Ireland map where with a single click you can determin wind pressures on proposed Solar Panels. Therefore even a regular house owner will be able to use this spreadsheet to calculate the required ballast weight.
The spreadsheets covers the following types of Solar Panels:
Photovoltaic modules with ballast:
This type of modules does not require any fixings into existing roof structure and hence there is no need to penetrate existing roof membrane. Making this a very convenient and easy way of post-installing Photovoltaic arrays. The spreadsheet calculates ballast weight required to prevent uplift, sliding and overturning.
Photovoltaic modules fixed to flat or pitched roof:
Pitched roofs are very common in UK and Ireland. To use these for supporting PV modules it is necessary to fix directly to loadbearing elements within the roof structure. In such a case it is essential to calculate fixing forces holding a PV module and hence loads on a supporting roof. These calculations are covered by this spreadsheet. If you have a flat roof but it is not man enough to support ballast weight then you should explore this type of PV modules.
- Extremely easy to use;
- Does not require any engineering knowledge hence can be used be a regular house owner;
- A clear and easy to read output (all on a single page);
- Covers three PV classes:
1) PV modules mounted on or above pitched roofs;
2) PV stands mounted on flat roofs - free standing (with ballast);
3) PV stands mounted on flat roofs - mechanically fixed;
- Pop-up window for easy selection of wind loads within UK and Ireland;
- Automatically calculates dynamic wind pressure based on site location, building size etc;
- User may overwrite dynamic wind pressure 'qs' and change size effect factor 'Ca' if this was calculated in another software;
- Automatically calculates pressure coefficients for various cases;
- Covers open and enclosed support structures;
- For ballasted PV modules, spreadsheet checks sliding, overturning and uplift;
- For fixed PV modules, spreadsheet gives forces for which fixings should be designed;
- Live diagrams;
- Quick summary of results;
- Design is based on BRE Digest 489: 2004
(Note: macros must be enabled for proper working of the spreadsheet. Follow instructions in this video)
"We recently discovered Damian’s spreadsheets and have now purchased 5 different solutions (company licenses). We have been very impressed at the ease and speed with which the spreadsheets can be used and will definitely be purchasing more in the future." Dr Paul Rose BEng(Hons) PhD CEng MIStructE MICE RoseConsultingEngineers - www.roseconsult.co.uk
"Very impressed with your wind load spreadsheet" Jason Barnes
"I see your solar wind spreadsheet is awesome (...)" Dan R.