Ground Mounted PV Array Services

Ground Mounted PV Array Systems

Gamcorp work with PV array frame manufacturers providing structural assessment, advice and certification to ensure their systems are suitable for installation in Australia and New Zealand. Wind load is the most critical factor that effects PV Array systems, and although the Australian and New Zealand Standard 1170.2, "Structural Design Actions: Wind Actions", is specific about how to determine the design wind speeds there is only limited design guidance on how wind forces apply to PV Array Systems. Over the past 10 years Gamcorp has developed methodologies from internal and external research to ensure that the PV Array Systems are optimised for Australian & New Zealand conditions. We have expertise in both fixed tilt and tracker systems.

Structural Certification for Ground Mounted PV Array Systems

A typical Ground Mount PV Array Frame Assessment and Certification includes the following:

  • Structural assessment of the solar array frames in accordance with AS/NZS 1170.2:2011 Amdt 3: 2012
  • Design Compliance Certification for Australian wind conditions for Wind Region A, Terrain Category 2., with wind speed multipliers of Mt = 1.0 (Flat Terrain), Ms =1.0 (No Shielding), Md = 1.0 (Any wind direction).
  • Maximum Pole/Frame spacing, minimum embedment for posts and specification for ground screws and concrete foundations for the following general ground conditions
    • Hard - Gravels, dry hard clays. Allowable End Bearing Capacity = 240kPa
    • Very Firm - Dry stiff clays, clayey sands, coarse sands, compact sands. AEBC = 150kPa
    • Firm - Damp clays, sandy clays, damp sands. AEBC = 100kPa
    • Soft - Wet clays, silty loams, wet or loose sands - 60kPa

What's important to you

The major factors that are taken into account to ensure structural safety and integrity while developing a cost effective design are:

  • Adequate information gathering and collaboration between system designer and structural engineer.
  • Upfront planning to determining all aspects of the specific requirements before completing designs.
  • Effective internal management systems that lead to delivering projects on time.
  • Design and engineering expertise that leads to efficient and cost effective design and elimination of unwarranted added costs, both during installation and over the lifetime usage of the structure.

Our Approach

When accuracy, timeliness and total project cost are critical, we have the experience, expertise and systems to:

  • listen to your specific needs,
  • analyse the critical issues and manage the workload to develop unique, cost effective solutions, delivered as you need them.

Our mission at Gamcorp is to provide high quality advice regarding structural design as early as possible in the life of the project and to create certification documentation that detail a clear, concise and complete innovative solution.

Time Frame

We typically require 4 - 5 workings days to complete the certification of the solar array frame system once we have received all the required information from you.

Information Required

In order to complete the assessment and certification we require:

  • Fully dimensioned schematic drawings of each array frame system in both DWG and PDF format
  • Section profile properties and material properties for all components
  • Maximum Solar Panel Size that will be installed on the arrays

In should be noted the 96% of Australia is within Wind Region A. Most of our clients choose to complete certification for Wind Region A first. If there is a need for other Wind Regions, we can complete these as required.

Site Specific Certification for Ground Mount PV Array Systems

For solar farm and other ground mount PV array installations that are using PV Array Systems that have been previously certified by Gamcorp, we can conduct Site Specific Array Frame Certification to optimise the installation for the local soil and wind conditions. The General Certifications are inherently conservative as they must use broad design parameters to cover multiple wind regions, terrain categories and soil conditions. By utilising design parameters specific to the installation site we are able to maximum post spacing and minimise post embedment depth or concrete volume.

A typical site specific certification includes:

  • Structural assessment and foundation design and recommendations for the Ground Mount Array System in accordance with wind loads derived from AS/NZS1170.2:2011 (R2016), site specific geotechnical data and with current Australian Standards Design
  • Compliance Certification for the Site Specific Wind and Foundation conditions.

Information Required

In order to complete the assessment and certification we require:

  • Current Geotechical Investigation Report
    • We will provide a detailed specification of the soils data required.
  • Site Plan and proposed PV Array layout