WeatherSolve Structures Inc.

Wind Protection for Solar Field - Case study


Courtesy of WeatherSolve Structures Inc.


A solar field supplier wished to refine their design to cut the cost of the mirror supports in a windy location. A related side benefit was that they could have the parabolic mirrors orientated to continue to generate electricity in wind storms that would otherwise require the mirrors to be rotated to the “stow” position facing into the ground.

They were also concerned about dust coming from upwind of the proposed field and the amount of dust that would end up on the mirrors thus reducing their generating efficiency.


Solar panels provide a measure of self-sheltering so it is the perimeter panels that get most heavily loaded – up to three time more than internal panels. To protect from all directions, a perimeter fence from WeatherSolve was provided in 2014 that sheltered the perimeter to a height of 16ft. The shelter from the wind fence slowly drops off behind the fence at a similar rate that the self-sheltering effect increases – resulting in a very even (and low) loading pattern for all the panels. This meant that all the panels could be supported with the same economical system.

The perimeter fence functions very efficiently at filtering the dust. From studies on soil erosion, it is easily shown that over 95% of the incoming dust never gets high enough to clear the fence and so the dust entering the solar field has been dramatically curtailed.

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