Photovoltaic (PV) modules – Non-uniform snow load testing
|Publication Date:||1 May 2020|
|ICS Code (Solar energy engineering):||27.160|
This document provides a method for determining how well a framed PV module performs mechanically under the influence of inclined non-uniform snow loads. This document is applicable for framed modules with frames protruding beyond the front glass surface on the lower edge after intended installation and as such creates an additional barrier to snow sliding down from modules.For modules with other frame constructions, such as backrails formed in frames, on the side edges, on the top edge and on the lower edge not creating an additional snow slide barrier, this document is not applicable.
The test method determines the mechanical non-uniform-load limit of a framed PV module.
The loads specified in this document apply exclusively to natural snow load distributions. Any expected artificial accumulations (e.g. from snow removal or redistribution) are considered separately.
Methods to eliminate or counteract the occurence of inhomogeneous snow accumulation, such as a steep installation angle (more than 60°), are not included in this document. This document assumes a relationship between ground snow-cover and module snow-cover which may not be applicable in locations where the snow does not completely melt between snow falls. This document does not consider the effect of snow cover on power generation.
While the test method includes a wait time between load steps, the document does not provide a complete assessment of the fatigue behaviour of the materials of the module, such as front glass.
Because typical field failures of PV modules caused by snow load show glass breakage and frame bending, the test method aims at reproducing the load under which such failures occur.