Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Dr. Gregory Kopp


An investigation of the wind field around roof-mounted PV arrays has been undertaken, utilizing synchronized TR-PIV and pressure measurements, in order to better understand the mechanisms which result in the aerodynamic loads, most importantly uplift, which act on such arrays. The mean flow is not significantly altered above the array as compared to a bare roof, while Reynolds normal and shear stresses are markedly reduced. Increasing the tilt angle of the array results in a progression from uplifts driven by vortex induced suction, which cause peak uplifts on a bare roof, towards uplifts which are driven primarily by local flow around the panels. For small tilt angle arrays this local flow is associated with large-scale building generated vortices, while for larger tilt angle arrays the instantaneous reattachment of the separated shear layer establishes the local flow.