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Wind Load Calculations for PV Arrays

COURSE NO: S02-011
COURSE PROVIDER: Brian McCaffrey, P.E.
Wind Load Calculations for PV Arrays
Course Highlights

This online engineering PDH course will introduce you to the principles of determining wind loads on PV arrays. The approach is applicable to the typical residential application of PV arrays mounted parallel to the roof slope and relatively close to the roof surface.


Today's photovoltaic (PV) industry must rely on licensed structural engineers' various interpretations of building codes and standards to design PV mounting systems that will withstand wind-induced loads. This is problematic since the safety and sufficiency of the structural attachments of solar equipment to rooftops are not adequately addressed in any codes or standards. ASCE Standard 7-05 Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures is the standard for wind forces on structures, but it does not provide adequate guidance to the design professionals and code officials tasked with assessing PV installations.


Until codes and standards are developed to address the mounting of PV arrays to rooftops, Wind Load Calculations for PV Arrays provides design guidance, including sample calculations for determining wind loads on PV arrays based on the recognized ASCE Standard 7-05.


Please note that this course describes the procedure for determining wind loads on PV mounting systems using Chapter 6 of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures (ASCE 7-05).  The design professional should confirm which version of ASCE 7 is required by local building codes when preparing the wind load calculations. It will also be helpful to reference Chapter 6 of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures (ASCE 7-05) to follow along with the course document examples.


This 2 PDH online course is intended for all engineers, architects, and construction professionals who are interested in gaining a better understanding of wind load calculations for PV mounting structures, modules, and mounting hardware.

Learning Objectives

This PE continuing education course is intended to provide you with the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • Understanding of the differences between wind loading on PV arrays and other rooftop structures
  • Proper selection of pressure coefficients
  • Understanding of how geometric parameters of the PV arrays affect wind loads
  • Understanding of how the PV array location on the rooftop affects wind loads
  • Determining wind loads on PV modules
  • Determining wind loads on mounting structures and hardware
Course Document

In this course you will need to review the publication, "Wind Load Calculations for PV Arrays", published by the Solar America Board for Codes and Standards (

To view, print and study the course document, please click on the following link(s):
Wind Load Calculations for PV Arrays (851 KB)
Course Quiz
Once you complete your course review, you will need to take a multiple-choice quiz consisting of fifteen (15) questions to earn 2 PDH credits.  The quiz will be based on this SOLAR ABCs publication.
The minimum passing score is 70%. There is no time limit on the quiz, and you can take it multiple times until you pass at no additional cost.
Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of the quiz, print your Certificate of Completion instantly. (Note: if you are paying by check or money order, you may print your Certificate of Completion after we receive your payment.) For your convenience, we will also email you your Certificate of Completion. Also, you can log in to your account at any time to access and print your Certificate of Completion.

To buy the course and take the quiz, please click on: