The objective of the study was to redesign a photovoltaic ground mounting structure because the actual frame is not optimized. We used DEM software.
Italian legislation has stipulated that a photovoltaic ground mounting structure must resist four types of loads and their combination case: self-weight, wind, snow and non structural mass.
Combination case: (1,3 SW)+(1,3 NM)+(1,5 WL)+(0,75 SL)
NM:non structural mass
Frame material: steel S235 (Fe360)
In the image we can see the result when I applied the same load case. The difference is than the weight of the structure at the left (BEFORE) is 42,18 Kg while the weight of the structure at the right (AFTER) is 22,15 Kg.
This is a excellent result because I save ~50% material and I save the cost of hot dip galvanizing.
The structure supports 2 vertical photovoltaic panels. On average my company supplies 750 of this frame per MW, so with this study we can save 15022,5 Kg only on material.
Actually the renewable energy is very important for us and if we know how to limit the material quantity we'll limit more the environmental impact.