How concrete construction supports solar energy
Solar installation is the process of installing solar panels or systems that convert sunlight into electricity or heat. Cast-in-place concrete piles and pre-cast concrete are two types of concrete foundations that can be used for solar installation. They have different construction methods and applications, depending on the soil conditions, site constraints and design requirements.
1. Cast-in-place concrete piles are piles that are constructed on the project site by drilling a borehole, placing a reinforcement cage and pouring concrete into the hole. They can provide a strong and stable foundation for solar brackets, especially in soft or unstable soils. They can also resist uplift forces caused by wind or seismic loads. However, they require special equipment and skilled labor to drill the borehole, fabricate and place the reinforcement cage, and place the concrete. They also produce a lot of spoil that needs to be disposed of.
There are several construction techniques for cast-in-place concrete piles, such as rotary drilling with kelly, rotary drilling with twin rotary head, and auger cast-in-situ. These techniques differ in the drilling process, the method of supporting the borehole wall, and the method of placing the concrete. The selection of the technique depends on the soil type, pile diameter and depth, and site conditions.
Cast-in-place concrete piles are generally more suitable for areas with high wind speed and low snow load, as they can provide more resistance to uplift forces and less weight to the structure. They are also more suitable for areas with poor soil conditions, as they can provide more stability to the structure.
2. Precast concrete is concrete that is cast and cured in a controlled factory environment. The concrete is poured into molds to create modular components like walls, floors, beams, columns, and more. Once cured, the precast components are transported to the construction site and lifted into place by crane. The components are then connected together on site.
Ballast concrete piles are piles that are made from precast concrete blocks that sit on the surface and secure the solar brackets without requiring holes or penetrations. They can provide a simple and quick foundation for solar installation, especially in flat or low-sloped roofs or ground-mounted systems in areas where it is difficult to drill holes, such as wet or moist areas or landfill sites. They can also prevent leaks, water damage and erosion that may occur with traditional installations.
Precast concrete is suitable for areas with poor soil conditions or high water tables where cast-in-place concrete is not feasible. It can also be used for areas with standardized or repetitive shapes that require more quality control and consistency. Precast concrete can achieve higher strength, durability, workability and resistance to environmental factors than cast-in-place concrete.
In conclusion,concrete is an essential component of sustainable development and green energy. It is a versatile and valuable material for construction industry. It can also support and enhance the solar installation by providing foundation, mounting, storage and integration functions. In solar projects, the grade of concrete, usually referred to as GU, is commonly used.
For more information about the concrete, please refer to the blog “Concrete: A Versatile and Valuable Material“.