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Re: Wind load design for Photovoltaic panel installations

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Depending on how much clearance there is below the panels, and how steeply angled they are, you could use elementary aeronautics equations for flat plates. The lift is proportional to the angle of attack (angle to roof plane, I suppose, here), and the center of pressure is 25% back from the leading edge. The lift is something like 2 x pi x alpha x stagnation pressure. That's only good for angles up to about 25-30 degrees if I remember correctly, then the plate will "stall" and it starts to look more like a drag element with Cd approaching 2. A first year aero book, like Bertin & Smith (Aerodynamics for Engineers) covers the basics if you're willing to wade through - or gloss over - the N-S equations to get to the simplified answers for your case.


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