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RE: Wind load design for Photovoltaic panel installations

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One possibility. The roof truss exists already, therefore it is meant to be code compliant.




1)       Analyse truss as is. (Gives estimate of minimum available resistance)

2)       Analyse truss with the additional loading of the solar panel

3)       Difference between two is the required reinforcement

4)       Find a design-solution to provide the reinforcement

5)       If don’t believe existing truss is up to current code requirements provide some additional resistance

6)       Experiment with the associated parameters to determine limitations of the design-solution

7)       On next project assess if design-solution suitable without need to re-calculate. If not suitable then find new design-solution

8)       Once have design –solution determine the cost of implementation

9)       Then the cost of recovery on the solar panels can then be reassessed by the owners and suppliers.

10)   The industry probably won’t be happy about the cost of strengthening existing, and will seek an official compromise by creating an industry association and producing a prescriptive specification approved by the AHJ. The problem will then only remain for a few irregular installations.




Conrad Harrison

B.Tech (mfg & mech), MIIE, gradTIEAust



South Australia