Integrated Buildings & Structures

ASCE 7-16 Wind Loads on Solar Panels

  • 1.  ASCE 7-16 Wind Loads on Solar Panels

    Posted 06-30-2021 02:19 PM
    I'd like to get some feedback on Section 29.4-7 regarding the array edge factor (GammaE):

    The code states the edge factor is equal to 1.5 for panels that are Exposed AND within 1.5(Lp) from the end of a row at an exposed edge of the array.  What this says to me is that the factor only applies for panels that are defined as "Exposed" (located beyond 1/2 the roof height from the edge of the array - see code snip below) AND within 1.5(Lp) from the end of the array.

    If the code stated, "Array Edge Factor = 1.5 for panels that are exposed OR within a distance 1.5(Lp) from the end of a row then I'd be more inclined to use the factor on most systems.  Otherwise, It seems like the edge zones would accommodate the increased wind loads due to vortex shedding and I wouldn't need to include the edge factor unless the array was greater than 1/2 the roof height from the edge.

    If the modules are close to the roof edge then they're not technically exposed.  Am I reading this right??



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    Eric Gilliland Aff.M.ASCE
    Eric Gilliland
    Denver CO
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