Renewable energy sources are gaining more attraction as a replacement for fossil-fuel based sources. This project consisted of the installation of a new 100 kW Solar PV array at the Mount Barker District City Council Recycled Water Treatment Plant in Adelaide, South Australia.
ENGEO was engaged to conduct a geotechnical investigation to assess the ground conditions and provide recommendations regarding the suitability of driven pile foundations and alternative suitable foundations for the ground mounted structures.
The site is located on a slope which made drilling operations challenging. ENGEO had to communicate with drillers and the project manager to provide suitable drilling locations that would circumvent this issue, whilst providing enough information on ground conditions.
The main challenge was that the footing system provided by the manufacturer was driven piles. The site investigation showed that this type of footing was not suitable for the ground conditions.
ENGEO measured the suitability of the footing recommended by the solar PV system manufacturer and provided alternative footing options tailored to the existing ground condition. These recommendations included bored piles and slab footings, as well as relocating the solar array to an alternative part of the site where we identified that the depth to bedrock was greater.
Overall, ENGEO provided options that were suitable for the site conditions and prevented time lost by presenting timely advice on ground conditions. The service provided exceeded the scope of the original investigation.