As the global energy crisis continues, a growing number of landowners are turning to the solar power industry to monetise their property. While retailers are in a perpetual fight to the bottom for produce prices, and the cost of living soars, low-carbon energy generation is an appealing prospect for farmers. In fact, according to the UK National Farmers’ Union, around 40% of farmers had already diversified into this area by 2019. And that figure has continued to increase. But if you are contemplating creating a commercial solar field, you have many practical considerations to work through. Not least of which is how best to anchor your ground solar panels.

If ground-fitted solar panels are not anchored securely, they can easily take flight when significant wind hits, which will spell the end of your eco investment. So, what do you need to know about solar field anchoring?

Solar Field Anchoring: What Do You Need to Know?

What are the options for anchoring ground solar panels?

There are various options for anchoring ground solar arrays. These include screw piles, shaft piles, ground screws, and driven piles. Each option comes with its own list of pros and cons. And their viability will depend upon the ground you are working with, your budget, and whether you’re prepared for earth works.

How deep do solar panel anchors need to go?

Every solar panel racking manufacturer will have its own set of guidelines for installation. With anchor diameter, depth, and spacing varying according to anchor type and environmental factors. Such as soil type and typical rainfall.

What are the considerations when selecting anchors for ground solar panels?

The main concerns when deciding which anchors to use for a solar field are:

· The load that each pile will carry

· The tension load that each pile has the potential to face – including ground movement/heave (as experienced when the ground freezes and thaws) and uplift from the wind

· Soil type is also a major consideration. Every anchor is more or less suited to particular soil conditions. While screw piles are one the best options for moisture-retentive soils, for example, they don’t do so well in bedrock.

What are the costs associated with installing ground anchors for a solar field?

The cost of the anchor will vary according to the anchor type, the number of anchors you require, and the supplier you work with. But installation fees will also vary significantly, depending upon your selected anchor method. While screw piles can be screwed straight into the ground with the use of an excavator or skid steer, ground screws, bored piers, and shaft piles require pilot holes. And this necessitates waste removal later. Some solutions, such as driven piles, require casing to keep the shaft open. While others, such as drilled shaft piles, require concrete to be backfilled into the pile hole in order to ensure the pile remains secure. Each additional step will add to the overall expenditure required for your solar field project.

Selecting the right anchors for your solar arrays is integral if you want your investment to make dividends. If you do not provide your solar panels with enough support, you will almost inevitably face the expense of later redress. And in most cases, this will also mean either repairing or replacing the panels, as well as revising your infrastructure. Taking time to investigate the different anchor types and the anchor requirements of your panels before you begin, will save you time, stress, and expense in the long run.

Get in touch with UK Helix to discuss your solar field anchor requirements. 

Disclaimer –Information in this blog does not in any way constitute building advice or guidance for private or commercial building projects.

Call Now