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Solar Plant in Toyama Endures Heavy Snow Without Removing Snow (page 2)

2019/07/31 12:00
Shinichi Kato, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Labo
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At mega-solar plants, there are two major measures against snow cover. One is to keep snow that has fallen from the panels and piled up from reaching the lowest part of the panels by raising the height of solar panel installation. The other is to make it easier for snow on the panels to slip off by increasing the panel installation angle.

However, both measures increase the load on foundations and mounting systems. This could result in even more difficulty in designing foundations to be used in sites being purified, where the load per unit area and the height of foundations are restricted.

At the mega-solar plant in Toyama Shinko, Toyama Prefecture adopted a stationary concrete foundation shaped like a broad-rectangular, 20cm-high, thin-planar block that covers most of the area under an array (unit of solar panels to be supported by a mounting system) (Fig. 4).

Fig. 4: Thin and rectangular foundations (source: Nikkei BP)

This foundation was also adopted at other solar power plants with similar environments in Fukui and Fukushima prefectures, and Toyama Prefecture reportedly referred to them when designing the mega-solar plant in Toyama Shinko.

When constructing the plant, the snowy season is avoided as much as possible. Therefore, the start of construction and operation were scheduled in May 2015 and March 2016, respectively.