Foundation Options for Large-Scale Ground Mount Solar Installations

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When considering a large-scale PV installation, it is important to understand the dynamics of the methods and means of construction, especially for foundations. The foundation is the key to supporting the ground mount solar racking system. Without a solid foundation, owners risk having solar racking structures and solar modules flying through the air or toppled over due to the loading and soil conditions at the project site.

Several foundation options are available for the solar mounting systems including concrete piers, driven piles, and screw anchors among others. While all options can work well, the developers and engineers on the project must select the foundation that most efficiently works on the project in terms of design, engineering and economics. This is where experience in all types of foundation options becomes a key component in the overall design of the solar mounting system.

There are many reasons a geotechnical engineer would recommend a driven pile over a concrete foundation for a ground mount solar project, but some of the common reasons are large design loads, a poor soil at shallow depth, environment impact, economics and site constraints. When soil conditions permit, driven pile systems can certainly be a more favorable option for ground mount solar foundations on large-scale PV installations. There can be distinct advantages on materials, installation time and the overall environmental impact.

When comparing to concrete, using driven piles takes up less space in the ground, eliminates the down time waiting for concrete to set up, and reduces logistical challenges in terms of coordinating multiple and continuous deliveries of the concrete from the mixing plant.

RBI Solar is the only solar racking system installation company that provides a complete solution for your solar mounting projects, including design, engineering, manufacturing and installation. RBI Solar is one of the most experienced solar racking companies in US. We are a solar structural specialist for large commercial, institutional and utility scale solar mounting projects. We have completed hundreds of structural mounting projects.

We understand that there is no single solar installation solution that fits all sites because each and every site is different - geographically, topographically and with respect to structural loading requirements. Based on the solar module mounting type, project size and soil conditions, RBI Solar provides custom designed racking and ground mount solar installation solutions specific for every type of project. At RBI Solar, we use the information in certified Geo technical Reports and work with the customer to design the most economical foundation for the solar mounting system.
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