Light weight solar solution in hilly terrains of Bihar


Installation of solar modules for such a huge requirement will need adequate support structures for defined wind speeds and panel layouts as per site requirements. GRP, due to its inherent properties, has emerged as the preferred material to provide structural support to the solar panels. To know more, here's a case study:

Module mounting structure is an important element in solar PV system as it provides structural support to the solar panels. Galvanized iron or coated mild steel frames are commonly used for the mounting structure to avoid corrosion due to weather conditions. These frames are also heavy in weight thus require strong foundation to withstand the overall weight of the structure. Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) has emerged as a better alternative material for frames and mounting structure. FRP, due to its inherent properties, offers a sustainable solution for solar module mounting.

Project details:

In Bihar, ERCON was approached by a multinational company for developing GRP-made tall structures to provide shelter for pumps and various equipment underneath and at the same time generate power to substitute diesel generators. ERCON manufactures well designed and analysed support structures for defined wind speeds and panel layouts as per site requirements.

Solutions provided:

The structure required was of various heights ranging from 2.3 metres to 5 metres height and with large spans from 3 metres to 5 metres, with mounting of 250 watt or 300 watt solar panels of approximately 10 to 20 KW for various sites.

ERCON designed a common group of GRP structural sections which could be used in different configurations and layout area sizes in modular fashion, for almost 500 different sites in several states of India. The wind load specified was 170 kmph. The structures were analysed on in-house ANSYS design software for wind uplift forces and based on the analysis the joints and profiles were developed.

The client accepted the design and a few structures were installed. Later the order was repeated for over 500 sites each ranging between 10 -20 KW of installation.

Advantages of GRP

In hilly terrain in Bihar, the steel columns and beams earlier designed and used by the same client were too heavy to handle and install. It also involved huge labour costs. With ERCON's light-weight GRP structure, the installation became very easy and fast. Transportation cost was saved due to easy on-site fabrication and modification. GRP being corrosion resistant, there was no risk of corrosion for the structure. Also, the whole project was under AMC for 25 years. Hence the client found the GRP structures most economical long term solution.

Further, there is a big risk of metal structures being stolen. With GRP, such risk was also eliminated and client could save on extra security efforts.


Content and Image Courtesy: ERCON Composites

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