Journal of Fluids and Structures
Detached eddy simulation, Solar panel, Ground clearance, Wind loading
Detached Eddy Simulations (DES) were carried out to analyze the influence of ground clearance and to estimate the unsteady wind loading on solar panels. A generic type of solar panel was considered at three different ground clearances. For the range of ground clearance values considered in the study, the results show that an increase in the clearance produces stronger vortex shedding fluctuations, higher shedding frequencies, and larger mean and unsteady wind loading. For the smallest ground clearance, an irregular vortex shedding was observed. The flow structures formed in the wake are analyzed using various indicators of turbulence characteristics including the vorticity and the λ2 criterion. The flow structures suggest a complex formation and subsequent shedding of vortices. The absence of regular vortex shedding at the smallest ground clearance and the presence of the same at the mid-ground clearance value suggests a reference for minimizing the unsteady wind loading of solar panels. Furthermore, the unsteady results reveal that the lower sections of the panel are more vulnerable to wind loading.
Shademan, M.; Balachandar, R.; and Barron, R. M.. (2014). Detached eddy simulation of flow past an isolated inclined solar panel. Journal of Fluids and Structures, 50, 217-230.