Destruction of Floating PV Plant by Typhoon at Yamakura Dam, Wind Resistance in Spotlight

On September 9th of 2019 typhoon number 15 hit the Chiba prefecture and Yamakura dam that holds the country’s largest floating solar farm. The typhoon destroyed two-thirds of the plant and caused fire in some parts of it. In fact, this was not the one, only two weeks later  2.4 MW Shintaku Tameike floating PV installation at Kyushu region was also destroyed by typhoon No. 17 with the same speed.

Destruction of Floating PV Plant by Typhoon at Yamakura Dam


The typhoon had an average wind speed of 41 m/s (147.6 Km/h) and a top speed of 57.5 m/s (207 Km/h). The destruction came as a surprise as this is not the strongest of typhoons in this area. The plant was held in place with 420 anchors, which connected to a total of 823 mooring lines.

All civil engineering structures including FPV plants ought to comply with “regional codes” prescribing design for wind loads. “JIS C 8955” code in Japan, sets the code for all Photovoltaics installations, no matter floating or not. The region where these sites are located, the minimum wind speed of 38 m/s must be sustained. As this is not the strongest of typhoons that occurs in the area, now there is an investigation ongoing by authorities and designers to prevent such incidents in the future.

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Source:@ pv-magazine & @Solar_Edition

Photo:@ The Asahi Shimbun @Solar_Edition 

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