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Proposed method for determining the thickness of glass in solar collector panels

Description: An analytical method has been developed for determining the minimum thickness for simply supported, rectangular glass plates subjected to uniform normal pressure environmental loads such as wind, earthquake, snow, and deadweight. The method consists of comparing an analytical prediction of the stress in the glass panel to a glass breakage stress determined from fracture mechanics considerations. Based on extensive analysis using the nonlinear finite element structural analysis program ARGUS, design curves for the structural analysis of simply supported rectangular plates have been developed. These curves yield the center deflection, center stress and corner stress as a function of a dimensionless parameter describing the load intensity. Results are included for plates having length-to-width ratios of 1, 1.5, 2, 3, and 4. The load range considered extends to 1000 times the load at which the behavior of the plate becomes significantly nonlinear. Over the load range analyzed, the analysis shows that the ratio of center deflection to plate thickness for a plate of length-to-width ratio of 4 is less than 70 to 1, whereas linear theory would predict a center deflection about 1200 times the plate thickness. The stress is also markedly lower than would be predicted by linear theory. These analytical results show good agreement with the analytical and experimental work of others.
Date: March 1, 1980
Creator: Moore, D.M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department