EnginSoft - CAE Conference Abstracts

EnginSoft International Conference 2011
CAE Technologies for Industry

Solar Panel Support Frame Development using modeFRONTIER

Grabner Stephan - Hill&Smith (UK)
Moseley David - EnginSoft UK (UK)


The increasing demand for green energy has emerged a growing trend for large solar panel farms. Typically these are build using a high Aluminium content but this a more costly material in comparison to steel. We were asked to help to optimise a steel mounting system for weight / cost because significant amounts of steel are required for the installation of solar power plants (PV) to ensure they are able to endure all weather conditions. modeFRONTIER was used to perform an optimisation study to define a new set of support structures that would be suitable for installation taking into account a wide range of environmental conditions especially wind and snow loads. The paper shows the exploration of the problems design space, optimising the location, dimension and gauges of the key structural members of a generic concept for various frame structures to produce designs that are an efficient compromise between structural consistency and low weight. We were able to develop a system which is adaptable for a wide bands of given snow and wind loads.

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