W (FEA) is is a numerical technique for finding approximate solutions of partial differential equations as well as integral equations. This page will describe how to use FEA to analyze the mechanical structure of photovoltaic racking systems. FEA allows detailed visualization of where structures bend or twist, and indicates the distribution of stresses and displacements.

Finite Element Analysis - Literature Review[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

Abaqus 6.10 Documentation

Basics[edit | edit source]

In every FEA is always good to:

  • Start with simple models and gradually modify as the simulations present plausible results.
  • Always check, if possible, FEA results with analytical results.

For general purposes, the steps below summarizes the basic procedure followed when modelling in Abaqus.

  • Open Abaqus/CAE[ ] and choose a Standard/Explicit model.
  • Create a part and sketch it according to the kind of structure you are dealing with.
  • Create materials and specify all the properties.
  • Define and assign sections. The properties of a part are defined by sections.
  • Assemble the part by creating an instance.
  • Request the data output according to the variables you want to study (i.e. forces, displacements, stresses...).
  • Create a step to which the loads are going to be defined. There is already a step called "initial" to which the Boundary Conditions are defined.
  • Apply the loads and Boundary Conditions according to the problem.
  • Mesh the model. Specify the element type and the global seed.
  • Create and Submit a Job. If no errors are found, the simulation is ready to have its data evaluated.
  • In "Results", the data generated by the simulation can be analyzed by plotting contours of the requested variables, evaluating the deformed and undeformed shapes plots, printing tabular reports etc.