Pile Determination for Solar Farm Success

solar farm foundations

Our Process


A comprehensive engineering determination process needs to be applied when calculating an optimum pile design to support large scale, high value solar farm projects. Determination factors include, but are not limited to the given geotechnical environment, applied loads, local standards and building codes.

At Solar Pile International, we have developed a proprietary pile design process that we call ‘Geodynamic Design’. We consider all elements in this process to ensure an optimum pile design in both performance and cost. We can customise and provide anything from our standard driven beam designs, through to our patented range of problem solving Solar X Piles. 

Soil Consideration


The geotechnical environment for each specific site is a critical component in properly determining an appropriate pile design. The soil type, strength, composition, variability and seasonal factors must govern the determination process, that then directs an appropriate pile design. This is particularly important when reactive clay soils are present.

The long-term hydraulic clay jacking of piles from site-specific soil suction processes must also be determined. This is critical to ensure the long-term performance and serviceability of the piles throughout their design life to properly support sensitive solar array structures.


Accounting For Loads


The applied vertical, lateral and torsion/mechanical loads generated by wind forces to a given tracker array system can vary greatly. This is due to the different ways each system receives, distributes and applies loads. By analysing the mechanical nature of a given tracker system in relation to the wind rating for a specific site, we are able to determine the required structural elements to fully optimise a pile design.

The Outcome


In summary, Solar Pile International is able to properly determine, design, test, supply and certify an optimum geotechnical and structural pile design for any solar farm site, anywhere in the World.

We can provide added services to solar farm developers to better determine costs prior to site acquisitions. Additionally, we can provide on site support to EPC’s to improve the supply and installation of piles while also working with solar array companies to help streamline and optimise their tracker designs and stow angles. Learn more through our ‘Work With Us’ page. 

Written by Solar Pile International.

Published 12/11/2018

 

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