At Douglas Partners we’re passionate about sustainability and technical excellence and we’re especially pleased to contribute to optimising foundation design for solar farms across Australia.
DP’s Sean Goodall (Geotechnical Engineer) and Richard Merifield (Principal and Geotechnical Analyst) have recently published a paper on Pile Design for Solar Farms and Reactive Clay Sites in Australia in the latest issue of Australian Geomechanics.
The paper provides an overview of the current state of practice in Australia for designing piles supporting solar arrays to resist expansive soil movements and presents some preliminary design charts developed using finite element analysis to assist designers with estimating the vertical pile movements and loads in piles associated with reactive ground movements.
One key consideration during the design of solar farms is the design of the pile foundations supporting the solar arrays. The number of piles is often in the order of tens to hundreds of thousands and contributes to a significant portion of the capital cost of the project. This paper presents preliminary design charts developed using finite element analysis to assist designers with optimising pile design.
Members of the Australian Geomechanics Society can download the full paper from their website here.
Modelling for the 3D Finite Element Analysis (FEA)
The DP team on site of a solar farm project