When designing and specifying the assumptions for free-field solar installations, data concerning the soil and other local conditions is of utmost importance.
It allows for the optimisation of construction works, avoiding down-time, reduction of performance during operation or quick installation damaging.
The investigation includes: geological, hydro-geological and soil conditions, soil chemistry conditions, morphological, hydraulic, climatic and sociological conditions in the location.
The survey is concluded by determining the conditions for an enterprise performing construction works from the perspective of the location of solar panels and design of the installation, taking into account the access roads, drainage and terrain.
Trial pile driving
In these trials, a steel pile is driven into the soil that needs to be examined. Next, force is applied to the pile horizontally and vertically in order to measure its reaction above the ground (deformation). Finally, the profile is being pulled from the ground and the force needed for that is measured.
This method provides information on deformations and the impact of different forces affecting the inserted steel pile. However, it provides only limited information about the actual soil structure and its mechanical properties. Ideally, the trial shows that the pile driven into the ground is able to withstand the stress afflicted by the superstructure.
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