High wind forces.
When wind blows over a building, it exerts positive and negative forces on the building and equipment mounted to it.
When the building is located in a wide open area, like Acheson—which used to be farming land—the wind loads get even higher, because there are no trees or buildings upwind to create interference.
Wind forces are either downwards (pressure) or upwards (suction). Going back to elementary science class, do you recall how an airplane wing works? Air underneath the wing travels slower than the air above. This creates an area of lower pressure above the wing, causing the wing to lift.
Similarly, when wind blows over a building, it creates a low pressure area over the roof, as well as turbulent vortices behind roof parapets. These forces can amplify and build on each other, and can become so intense that things like solar panels will lift off and be hurled downwind.
The taller the building gets, the more extreme the wind forces become.
We supplied a hybrid anchoring system using ballast and attachments to resist the high wind forces.
This building is 4 stories tall, which was a first for us. We worked closely with our engineering partners and racking supplier to find a solution that would withstand the wind for many years to come. We used a combination of good solar design principles and a mix of structural anchors and ballast to resist the wind forces.
We are proud to say that this solar system maximizes energy production at an affordable cost, much cheaper than a comparable number of panels on residential roofs because of the large scale. It reduces C02 emissions by about 320 tonnes per year, which is equivalent to the emissions from burning 118,400 L of diesel or the carbon dioxide sequestered by 400 acres of trees in one year.
It also qualified for Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) Energy Savings for Business program, which is a solar rebate valued at about 25% of project cost. Inferno Solar quarterbacked the rebate process on NACG’s behalf, which makes the system even more attractive.
Congratulations to the team at NACG for showing leadership in Alberta on clean energy!
North American Construction Group (NACG) has Canada’s largest independently-owned heavy construction and mining fleet. They provide Heavy Construction and Mining Services to the oil, natural gas, and resource sectors, with a specialization in Alberta oil sands.
We worked with the team at NACG in 2019, installing a much smaller solar system. We built a relationship based on trust and integrity, which resulted in being invited back to complete this project.
This was one of our largest projects this year, featuring over 800 Tier 1 solar panels on 2 buildings.