Siting Info

Siting of a SolarMill® requires knowledge of the prevailing wind, an eye toward sun exposure, and an assessment of the architecture available for mounting the units. Talk with a distributor, or see our siting here.

Expected power with wind at suboptimal angles

Expected power with wind at suboptimal angles.

Prevailing winds

Most locations have a large proportion of their available wind power coming from a single direction, (or sometimes 2 opposite directions). This is termed the prevailing wind direction. The SolarMill® turbines are omnidirectional, but the row of turbines does result in some directionality. The line of SolarMills® should optimally be set up within 45 degrees of perpendicular to the prevailing wind direction. Ultimately, the aerodynamics of the architectures dictates positioning choices.

Architecture aerodynamics

Architecture Dynamics

The SolarMill® is designed specifically to mount directly to the roof of a building or other structure. Consideration must be given to the geometry of the roof structures and obstacles surruounding the installation. Placing the turbines in a location where trees and other structures would block the prevailing winds should be avoided.

An ideal siting location for a building mounted turbine is on a building that is taller than the surrounding buildings and natural obstructions. This will minimize the effect of the surroundings and the wind flow effects immediately above the roof.

A location at the peak of a pitched roof or on the windward edge of a flat rooftop is preferred as the wind there is accelerated. Other locations on the roof, as the figure shows, have only small wind velocities and high turbulence. Following these siting guidelines will help to minimize avoidable energy losses for building-mounted wind systems.

Architecture aerodynamics

Sun Exposure

The most obvious requirement is that the solar panels are places where they get sun exposure throughout the day. Shading for any portion of the day will automatically eliminate power produced during that period.

Fixed angle solar installations are usually optimized when they face due south in the northern hemisphere, and due north in the southern hemisphere. Furthermore, when balanced for winter/summer exposure, panels would be tilted up at the same angle as the latitude of the location. However deviations from optimal solar panel direction only result in very modest reduction in power produced, allowing the units the flexibility to follow the architecture when needed.

Installation Overview

The SolarMill® is designed to provide considerable flexibility in its mounting configurations. Generally rooftops will fall into two categories: flat and pitched. In both cases, the product generates significant tipping forces in high winds, so the installation must be strong enough to withstand both considerable tensile forces and compressive forces. This often requires adding members below the units to spread the loads. WindStream distributors can provide this and any extension leg kits needed to position the units properly. The resulting structure can be connected directly to the structure of the building, or if it is preferred to not penetrate the roof surface and the roof is sufficiently strong, the structure can be freestanding and ballasted.

All configurations require installation by distributor approved technicians, and involvement with permitting bodies where localities require. Discuss mounting options with your distributor.