Pollux Consulting used CFD in the cloud to test wind load on solar landfills

32 simulation runs

Simulation runs

mesh of 70 million cells

Mesh cells

30k EUR average savings in hardware costs

Average savings in hardware

Pollux logo

Based in Belgium, Pollux Consulting is an engineering company specialized in waste processing and management. Pollux is also involved in civil engineering projects for gas flow in piping.

The Challenge

Investigating Wind Load on Solar Landfills with CFD

The objective of this project was the construction of solar landfills over a large terrain. Until recently, the engineers at Pollux have been working with hand calculations and wind tunnel testing. The latter implies high costs and time resources, as it takes months to obtain the results. Hence, the team did not consider it feasible for all of their projects.

Velocity distribution over the solar panels and terrain
Velocity distribution over the solar panels and terrain

Due to its time and cost savings benefits, Pollux decided to test the capabilities of a CFD software with the purpose of incorporating simulations into all their projects in the future.

The engineers at Pollux wanted to run CFD simulations to analyze the wind load on the solar farm placed in field sites. The scenario of interest consisted of finding the load on the panels, and the distributions of velocity and pressure at different parts of the terrain and panels, when placed at a given distance from the ground.

The analyses also took into account the wind flowing over the solar farm from 8 different directions. The peak load acting on the panels considering all wind direction needed to be found.

We were very happy with the support which was provided by SimScale. We had never found a company where we could talk to people so easily.

Uda Pannizzo

Technical Expert at Pollux Consulting

How they solved it with SimScale

32 Simulations Testing Two Scenarios

The CAD model of the terrain over which the panels needed to be placed was provided by Pollux. The challenge was to obtain a mesh which extended over a few kilometers, while the thickness of solar panels was in the order of centimeters.

mesh of the solar panels geometry
Mesh of the solar panels geometry

There were two different scenarios analyzed with volumes of 24 million and 70 million cells respectively for the mesh.

pressure distribution over solar panels and terrain, CFD analysis
Pressure distribution over the solar panels and the terrain

Each of these cases were analyzed for two velocities, with eight different directions for each, giving rise to 32 simulations in total.

The results

Finding the Wind Load, Velocity, and Pressure Distribution

The results of all 32 simulations were processed to find the wind load on the solar panels and the distribution of velocity and pressure at different parts of the terrain and panels.

Pressure coefficient on the solar panels
Pressure coefficient on the solar panels

With SimScale, Pollux Consulting’s engineers were able to successfully analyze the solar panels for all eight wind directions and two different flow conditions by using a standard computer and a web browser. Moreover, the costs saved were of more than €30,000 by using CFD with SimScale compared to a few wind tunnel tests.

With SimScale, Pollux Consulting’s engineers simulated the solar panels for all eight wind directions and two different flow conditions, all in a web browser.

See More Success Stories

Customer Case Study

L&T

Customer Case Study

Sogea Maroc

Customer Case Study

Nabtaker

Customer Case Study

Designcraft

Find out how engineering simulation can help engineers design better and more efficient buildings!