Introducing WindLab-Solar: A time-saving calculator for solar array wind loads

CPP is excited to announce the launch of our newest service for the solar industry, WindLab-Solar. With WindLab-Solar, your days of squinting at little black lines on wind load charts are over. No longer will you have to remember a multiplier for this and a reduction factor for that. WindLab-Solar does it all for you, accurately and quickly, and it promises to change the way you think about solar array design.

WindLab-Solar is an innovative online tool that places CPP’s many years of experience with solar panels at your fingertips. Using the results of your system-specific wind tunnel study, simply provide a handful of inputs through the user-friendly interface, and let it crunch the numbers for every module in your photovoltaic (PV) installation. A typical WindLab-Solar project starts with such basic project definitions as

  • Roof size
  • Building height
  • Module size and tilt
  • Row-to-row spacing

Once you’ve defined these basic features of your installation, building a rooftop array is as simple as clicking the mouse. Resize and reposition arrays on the fly, move them around on your virtual roof, and consider a range of geometries: WindLab-Solar updates your results in real time, letting you spend less time calculating loads and more time optimizing layouts.

Flow features like corner vortices and flow separations are considered automatically, and you have the choice of expressing wind loads as dimensionless coefficients or with units like pounds per square foot (psf). With WindLab-Solar, your design team has instant access to the critical data that can make or break a rooftop installation.

Prior to WindLab, the most recent improvement in understanding the behavior of solar panels in a rooftop wind environment is the Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC) codified procedure “Wind Design for Low-Profile Solar Photovoltaic Arrays on Flat Roofs.”, SEAOC PV2. This procedure, developed by CPP in conjunction with SEAOC, details how to include the fundamental parameters driving loads on solar modules on flat roofs.

WindLab takes a big step beyond SEAOC’s print guidelines, which necessarily rely on simplifying assumptions to offer one set of methods for many kinds of PV installations. WindLab-Solar calculates wind loads for your specific building and array geometry. No simplifications, no guesswork.

Whether you’re the product designer, the structural engineer of record, or the installer, WindLab-Solar offers you the ability to run through multiple “What if?” scenarios intuitively and efficiently. Just as spreadsheets represented a step change from the handheld calculator, WindLab-Solar represents a step change from the generic pen and paper methods that can bog down the permitting process.

If you’re ready to learn more about WindLab-Solar, sign up for the free demo at or contact CPP’s solar panel wind experts with your questions and feedback. We’d love to hear from you.