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Modelling and Simulation in Engineering
Volume 2016, Article ID 1034539, 14 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/1034539
Research Article

Wind Load Reduction in Hollow Panel Arrayed Set

Fluid Mechanics/Hydraulics Division, Department of Civil Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, 67100 Xanthi, Greece

Received 12 February 2016; Accepted 6 June 2016

Academic Editor: Valerio Lo Brano

Copyright © 2016 Michalina Markousi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Reducing the wind loading of photovoltaic structures is crucial for their structural stability. In this study, two solar panel arrayed sets were numerically tested for load reduction purposes. All panel surface areas of the arrayed set are exposed to the wind similarly. The first set was comprised of conventional panels. The second one was fitted with square holes located right at the gravity center of each panel. Wind flow analysis on standalone arrayed set of panels at fixed inclination was carried out to calculate the wind loads at various flow velocities and directions. The panels which included holes reduced the velocity in the downwind flow region and extended the low velocity flow region when compared to the nonhole panels. The loading reduction, in the arrayed set of panels with holes ranged from 0.8% to 12.53%. The maximum load reduction occurred at 6.0 m/s upwind velocity and 120.0° approach angle. At 30.00 approach angle, wind load increased but marginally. Current research work findings suggest that the panel holes greatly affect the flow pattern and subsequently the wind load reduction. The computational analysis indicates that it is possible to considerably reduce the wind loading using panels with holes.