Poster Spotlight: Review of Economic Solar Mounting Structures with Minimal Land Disturbances and Construction Sophistication
Tuesday, September 12, 2023
1:30 PM – 1:40 PM PDT
Location: Speakers Corner, Booth #11024, Level 1, Venetian Expo Hall
The implementation of utility scale solar has seen rapid growth in the recent decade. With the application of photovoltaic systems continuing to increase, adaptation to the remaining land space can be challenging for current module mounting structures. Economic and constructability constraints pose a major challenge to the development of solar arrays within land spaces where low sophistication and soil disturbance levels must be adhered to. This introduces the opportunity for the innovative utilization of ground mounting structures for solar arrays requiring low economic impact, low soil disturbance, low construction sophistication, and the same high output capabilities. Simple Low Impact Mounting Structures (SLIMS) for solar arrays are unsophisticated, near-ground structures that provide easy photovoltaic module mounting and do not require complicated equipment to install.
SLIMS are emerging as a unique solution to challenges found in a smaller area of the solar PV market, in particular where only minimal to no disturbance of the ground is allowed and where the access to sophisticated construction techniques is not available or cost prohibitive. Examples include brown field sites that have experienced 100+ years of industrial use but is now open; idle land that is not able to be disturbed due to contamination concerns; landfills where the soil cap cannot be penetrated; open plots of land in urban areas that are available for a small scale solar PV installation, but not large enough to attract an experienced contractor to install; or very remote communities that are not able to transport large equipment or tools to install a solar PV system but still yearn for power independence and resilience. The low economic impact of these structures also assists in small-scale solar applications to meet desires for return on investment and net present value economic forecasting.