Lawndale, NC United States
The Strata Solar farm in Lawndale, NC, represents a modern, clean energy, environmentally friendly, electricity producing facility. Completed in November 2012, this facility generates an estimated 3.5 megawatts of electricity, or enough electricity to power approximately 3,500 homes. By using the natural resources of the sun, this facility is helping to eliminate pollution from coal fired plants, reducing greenhouse gases, toxic sludge, and other harmful contaminants.
The task of building a solar farm is a major undertaking. Everything from site selection to geotechnical surveys have to be considered and evaluated. However, one factor is almost always standard practice, no matter where the site is located: the posts will be hot-dip galvanized. Knowing that hot-dip galvanizing provides many years of useful, maintenance free life, and cathodic protection makes the decision to use galvanizing easy. Zinc prevents rust from forming in two ways. First, although the surface of zinc metal does oxidize in a similar manner to iron, it does so much more slowly. As it ages, the zinc surface attains a layer of zinc carbonate from reactions with atmospheric carbon dioxide, which is inert to interactions with oxygen. This is witnessed in galvanized products as a patina. This patina serves as a buffer, greatly slowing further interactions with oxygen and other corrosive elements. The second way zinc protects steel is by serving as a sacrificial anode to the iron in steel. Zinc preferentially loses electrons to iron, if iron should ever need them, but only so long as there’s good contact between the metal surfaces. This means that even in cases where the zinc layer may become scratched, the underlying steel can still be protected.
This particular facility required 2,300 posts to support the solar array. The posts were rolled from custom slit coils to the exact customer specifications of length and mounting hole patterns, and then hot-dip galvanized.
Understanding the end user needs and requirements is critical to success when galvanizing considerable quantities of posts, and there are challenges that must be overcome. Turnaround time is always critical. Proper cleanup is very important to ensure not only the material is safe to handle, but holes are not obstructed once the posts are installed. Finally, proper packaging plays an important role in allowing for expeditious installation once at the job site.
Working closely with the manufacturer was critical to the success of this project. By working together, the invested parties were able to provide another sustainable, clean, environmentally friendly, energy source that will help protect our environment. Protected by 100% recyclable zinc, this solar farm will continue to have a positive impact on our environment for many years to come.
Electrical, Utility & Communication
Lawndale, NC United States
Reasons for Galvanizing
Coating Durability, Corrosion Performance, Ease of Specifying, Sustainability
Solar panel support posts
Roll Forming Corporation
AZZ Galvanizing - Louisville