The Cyclone Testing Station at James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland, is an independent authority on the performance of buildings in severe wind events, and focuses primarily on the performance of houses and other low rise buildings in Australia and the surrounding region.
The Cyclone Testing Station is actively engaged in research, testing and community education aimed at ensuring that buildings designed to resist severe wind events are safe, economical and sustainable.
In 2006, Cyclone Larry, a Category C cyclone, was one of the most devastating cyclones to ever hit Queensland, having wind speeds of 240 km per hour and wind gusts measuring 294 km per hour. In 2011, Cyclone Yasi, also a Category C cyclone, struck Mission Beach in Queensland with speeds of 290 km per hour.
While these cyclones had severe effects on the infrastructure and environment in the regions they hit, at the Cyclone Testing Station, four tests performed over two rounds of testing on different mounting structures found that Q.CELLS solar modules were capable of surviving such wind conditions.Article continues below…
The first round of testing assessed Q.PRO-G2 and Q.PEAK modules on a standard rooftop structure using two different methods that applied stress through static, continuous pressure and dynamic cycling of pressure that consisted of more than 10,000 cycles ranging in intensity from low to high and back to low intensity.
Q.CELLS modules passed this first round of pressure testing, showing that a solar system using Q.CELLS modules and installed on a conventional rooftop mounting structure will survive Category C cyclones, the most severe category for all major cities in Australia.
Q-CELLS Australia also asked the cyclone testing station to test Q.CELLS modules for Category D cyclone pressure, which is the most extreme pressure level in Australia.
The second round of pressure testing assessed the same type of modules on a ground-mounted system using the same methods applied in round one testing. The system passed testing for cyclones with a speed of up to 306 km per hour. Cyclones of this speed occur less than once every 1,000 years in Category D cyclone regions.
“Since a photovoltaic system is an investment to hedge against rising electricity prices and to combat climate change, it makes sense to choose solar modules that are tested to withstand these immense pressures that occur during a cyclone to ensure that your investment reliably performs for years to come,” says Q-CELLS Australia Managing Director Oliver Hartley.
“It is now proven that Q.CELLS modules are the strongest modules out there, tested by an independent, quality lab in Australia.”