City of Mandurah Solar Panel InstallationStructural Design & Assessment
Dr Mills (Courtesy of WML Consultants) was engaged by ECM to undertake a design assessment on existing City of Mandurah building facilities to accommodate large solar farms on the roof of the buildings.
Two building owned by the City of Mandurah we to be assessed for the installation of a high number of solar panels to the roof structure. The two building undertaking this modification were the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre (MPAC) and the administration block for the city of Mandurah.
The existing structures had to be assessed for the installation of new solar panel systems. Solar panels increase the degree of wind loading on the roof in accordance with the Australian Standards. The deflection of the existing roof members and the load capacity of the existing members had to be assessed for adequacy of the additional applied loading. The connection systems between the solar panel fixing and the roof had to be certified under the structural system.
Dr Mills provided direction on the location and placement of the solar panels, develop a bespoke system for connection of the solar panel fixity to the existing rafters. A structural investigation of each site was undertaken to ensure that the existing buildings were as per existing documentation and to provide a degree of certainty on the integrity of the existing structures. Additional restraint flanges were required to provide a degree of certainity on the uplift performance of both the existing beams and purlins to the roof structure. The engineer had to ensure that the roof loads could be transferred down from the roof structure in to the lower building and foundations as required.
Both buildings were certified to have the solar panels installed for the increased wind loading on roof. A degree of modification to some support was recommended. The installation of the solar panel fixity was inspected prior to sign off of the whole system. The solar panels have been installed for the last three years and the roof on both buildings has performed adequately.