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RE: Wind Loads on Roof Mounted Solar Panels

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Conrad and Harold,


I want to thank you for your input and help.  What I am seeing is there is a need for a practical code section for this issue.  The articles suggested may be of some help, I hope so.  I have only done a cursory review as of yet because I have a couple of other things I need to do this morning and then I will dive back into this.  I’m not quite sure yet how I will end up looking at this. Probably using a combination of several sections of the code and then making a “judgment” call as to the pressures. I think they will all compare within a few psf uplift either way.  I will say, that there isn’t a lot of money, from what I can see, in doing these types of projects, therefore, going back and forth between a lot of ASCE tables and trying to make a decent decision doesn’t work well for these.  Although, that is what I will do this first time to get a feel for, and come up with a process and procedure that I will use if, hopefully, I get some more of these to do.  There is probably a fair amount of this type of thing to do these days with the push for “green”, and also living in AZ there is a lot of interest for solar retrofit.


It may seem that I am fretting a bit too much, but so be it for the first time.


Harold, I did also see the software listed as I did some google searches.  I may look into it as a purchase, but again I want to have a feel for the issues before using I especially if I should not get enough of these projects to pay for it.  Business has been extremely slow almost to the point of “belly up”, so any purchase will be closely looked at.  I have had to let some of my “maintenance” agreements lapse with some other software and I really didn’t want to do that but had no choice.


Thanks again,

Joe Grill


Joseph R. Grill, PE

Verde Valley Engineering, PLLC

2220 Sky Drive

Clarkdale, AZ 86324

Ph. 928-600-5459

Fax 928-649-3659

email: VVEng(--nospam--at)


From: Harold Sprague [mailto:spraguehope(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Sunday, June 06, 2010 8:51 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: Wind Loads on Roof Mounted Solar Panels


The attached link is for a computer program that develops wind loads on solar panels.  That is about all that I know about it.
I just found this on the internet.  I would not feel comfortable using the above program without a comprehensive validation, but that is just me. 
There are computational fluid dynamics programs that can develop the loads, but they need to be validated relative to real wind tunnel testing.   (It is a lot like FEA.)  CPP in Ft. Collins, CO can develop these loads.  They know CFD and they have wind tunnels.  This is something the manufacturers should develop.  This is fairly routine in the microwave antenna and tower community. 

Regards, Harold Sprague


From: sch.tectonic(--nospam--at)
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: Wind Loads on Roof Mounted Solar Panels
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 2010 09:05:53 +0930



The book wind loading of structures by John Holmes has some brief commentary on roof mounted solar panels, hot water systems.

I will forward a scanned copy of relevant pages.






Conrad Harrison

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



South Australia




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