Wind load of PV elements

Client: IndustryWindlasten_1

The CWE of the RWTH Aachen University was commissioned with wind tunnel investigations to measure the wind loads of photovoltaic systems with east-west and south orientations using small-scale tests.

In a first step, it was determined which failure mechanisms and directions of inflow are to be considered decisively for the respective systems.

The effects of a concrete placement on the roof and the associated flow conditions, as well as spatial and temporal correlation effects could be considered by the chosen scale of 1:150. Measurements were made on a small-scale wind tunnel model to investigate the simultaneity of wind loads on larger groups of PV modules and the effect of changing roof arrangements and installation positions.


The aerodynamic effects caused by the detachment and reapplication of the flow, as well as by module shading, were investigated in relation to larger-scale arrangements. The directional load effects with respect to the global wind direction and the local orientation of the modules towards the roof edge were also investigated.

Furthermore, a ballast optimization was carried out considering different system connection possibilities.