Analysis of mechanical properties for two different structures of photovoltaic pavement unit block

Zhou, Bochao and Pei, Jianzhong and Hughes, Ben Richard and Nasir, Diana SNM and Zhang, Jiupeng (2020) Analysis of mechanical properties for two different structures of photovoltaic pavement unit block. Construction and Building Materials, 239. 117864. ISSN 0950-0618

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    Abstract

    Recently, photovoltaic (PV) pavement has widely attracted attention as an alternative to provide renewable energy. Research which focuses on the mechanical properties of a PV pavement is still at an early stage of exploration. This study adopted two types of PV pavement unit block structure, namely grid unit block and hollow unit block based on previous literature. ABS was selected as the material of the unit block body, which is proven has strong mechanical properties and can be recycled. Effects of various factors on the mechanical properties of the unit blocks were analysed, including (i) structure length, (ii) structure width, (iii) thickness of bottom plate and (iv) thickness of grid or wall. Orthogonal test was used to obtain 16 sets of experiment for each unit block structure and numerical simulation was conducted by ABAQUS. The surface longitudinal deformation ls and the maximum tensile stress σm at the centre of the bottom of the light-transmitting plate are the main indexes for mechanical response analysis. Mean analysis was used to determine the optimal combination of the structural sizes, meanwhile multivariate analysis of variance was used to rank the significance of each factor. Results have demonstrated that the optimal size combinations for the two structures are: (i) for grid unit block structure −120 cm length × 120 cm width × 8 cm-thickness bottom plate × 2 cm-thickness grid (ii) for hollow unit block structure −60 cm length × 60 cm width × 6 cm-thickness bottom plate × 10 cm-thickness side walls. Meanwhile, the ranks significance of each factor are: (i) for grid unit block structure – plate thickness > grid thickness > width > length (ii) for hollow unit block structure – only width is significant to σm. The results also suggested that grid unit block structure for a PV pavement is better than hollow unit block structure.