Date of Award
Open Access Master's Report
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MS)
Administrative Home Department
Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Committee Member 1
Kari B. Henquinet
Committee Member 2
Joshua M. Pearce
There is a lack of literature on the structural balance of systems (BOS), also called racking, for ground mount, fixed-tilt solar PV systems. Literature that exists discusses mostly rooftop racking and installations, additional wind loading, and weight considerations imposed on roofs, and little guidance is provided in building codes. The lack of peer-reviewed guidance on design requirements for domestic and large-scale application solar PV racking systems leaves most consumers relying on expensive, patented, off-the-shelf hardware. As PV cell technology and module costs have improved, we can start to focus on PV BOS improvements (particularly racking) and move towards sustainable designs that contribute to lower the overall cost of PV systems, increasing their accessibility especially for developing, low-income, or remote communities. The purpose of this paper is to review existing literature on fixed-tilt, ground-mount PV racking systems, present methods of analyzing DIY systems, and suggest further research. The paper is presented in the context of community development work and the author’s experience as a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru.
Prabhakara, Parijata, "INCREASING ACCESS TO PV TECHNOLOGY THROUGH SUSTAINABLE RACKING: A REVIEW OF EXISTING LITERATURE AND GROUND MOUNTED FIXED TILT DESIGNS, AND WHAT CAN BE DONE NEXT", Open Access Master's Report, Michigan Technological University, 2020.