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Solar Engineering Solutions

It takes ingenuity to design site-responsive solar solutions

Efficient, reliable & smart

How we design

For Caracal Engineering, every solar project is a one-off – no matter the scale. That’s because every time, we design, engineer and build to fit the unique realities of the site and support the client’s specific intent. To create a quality, high performing solar installation that has real longevity.

Our method is intelligence-driven. Our inhouse engineers design each structure and we, Caracal Engineering, install it ourselves, so we get immediate feedback on its efficacy and can refine the design, as needed. This feedback loop means we can respond rather than react. We work with ingenuity, by asking, “How can we do this better?”. That’s how we deliver more efficiency, more reliability, higher safety standards and ever-smarter technology.

projects to date

107

Our solar mechanical engineering approach

Our processes, skills and in-market intelligence allow us to confront unique challenges with a design-thinking approach.

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Assessing the context

First, we analyse the purpose of the mechanical system in its context. We look closely at the project’s locality: its wind speeds, terrain categories and risk criteria. This way, we design a system that’s immediately code-compliant and accurately priced for our clients.
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Designing the right solution

Structural analysis software helps us design efficiently. We employ the services of our internal engineering team as well as external structural engineers to objectively verify our designs and obtain the relevant local sign-off.
Our drawing team generates a comprehensive set of CAD drawings considering design foundation positions, module and table layouts and fabrication, and helps with SANS10400 applications where applicable. Our designs comply with all the relevant local standards and codes.

In particular, our carport and ground mount applications require geotechnical testing. We run vertical uplift and horizontal pressure tests to finalise our designs. An integral part of our analysis, we perform this service in-house.

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Choosing the right products

Our engineers decide on the most appropriate materials, products and components for the application. Metallurgists may confirm our use of certain materials in alternative applications. Our designs consider thermal expansion and potential bimetallic corrosion.
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Making systems to order

If needed, our engineers design custom components and systems to spec.

When planning your solar structure, we always consider:

Location

The position of your solar project, whatever it may be, informs wind loading conditions, terrain categories and risk criteria. All of these factors impact the design of your mounting structures.

Layout

To optimise pricing and design, a layout is always useful, though not essential, as Caracal Engineering will advise on where improvements can be made to have the product working optimally.

Height

The height of a carport or building can have a significant impact on the loads experienced by solar mounting structures. The higher the parkade, the greater the load. We design the plant to suit the ergonomic.

Module Type

We consider clamping solutions per the manufacturer’s module prescripts, dimensions and mounting instructions. We can also engage the supplier to confirm our compliance with their mounting instructions.

Plant size

We work to optimise the structure to fulfil the client’s kWp or MWp target.

String lengths

We design systems with the electrical layout in mind. Where possible, we’ll design in keeping with string lengths.

Angle of inclination

The angle of inclination has a considerable bearing on the stress under which the system is placed. Lower angles of inclination have lower loads. High angles of inclination have higher loads.

We custom engineer site-specific solutions for every solar project

Ground Mount

Single Axis Trackers