Mounting structures - will they last

A critical component to any solar asset is the mounting structure & although there have been some advances in design over the last decade, essentially it’s a pretty basic concept of fixing the solar modules to the ground with galvanised steel structures. Wind & snow loading's are calculated and then the ground conditions of the specific site should be factored in to establish the pile depth and section dimensions.

There are other solutions for sites which have limited ground penetration due to archaeological or sub-surface constraints, which may be ballast or screw systems. And above ground there are different arrangements to suit the site design and module orientation.

However, I do have some concerns that raise alarm bells when asking the question whether these structures will last the full design life:

  • Galvanic Thickness (not enough?)
  • Corrosion (too much?)
  • Earth Leakage & Material Deposition (is it happening?)
  • Stiffness & flexibility (is it suitable?)
  • Price (cheap is not best!)

2DK predict that certain structures will fail or will need significant structural reinforcement over the coming decade. The best thing to do is check your operational sites and for new build, invest in quality assurance services.

What do you think?