Setting up a Project Template for a Solar Farm Project

In the video below we show the important setup elements for a TBC Project Template for Solar Farm Projects. The project data will be provided in PDF and CAD DWG files typically along with a set of additional information that is required - here is a check list of the data thatyou are going to need

  • Location of the Project (We will use this to define the US State and Coordinate System Zone e.g. Texas North, NAD 83, US State Plane).
  • Pile Definitions - the pile definitions for a project will show a list of Piles defined by color (Black, White, Red, Yellow etc.), and for each pile definition they will have the steel type (e.g. W6x15 - these are industry standard steel definitions (see list below)

Typical Project Pile Definitions


Typical Steel Standards

Type Width Height Area Web
In In In2 In In lb/FT
W6x7 3.905 5.79 2.07 0.135 0.16 7
W6x7.75 3.921 5.82 2.29 0.151 0.177 7.75
W6x8.5 3.94 5.83 2.52 0.17 0.195 8.5
W6x9 3.94 5.9 2.68 0.17 0.215 9
W6x10.4 3.97 5.96 3.13 0.2 0.247 10.4
W6x12 4 6.03 3.55 0.23 0.28 12
W6x15 5.99 5.99 4.43 0.23 0.26 15
W6x16 4.03 6.28 4.7 0.26 0.405 16
W6x20 6.02 6.2 5.9 0.26 0.365 20
W6x25 6.08 6.38 7.3 0.32 0.455 25

For more details on W Beam Steel Standards - Click Here

  • CAD File containing the following information
    Project Boundaries
    Block Boundaries
    Block Names
    Array Boundaries
    Other pertinent site data (roads, Laydown yards etc.)

  • Existing / Original Ground Surface Model / Data - ideally points / surface nodes measured at all design pile locations

  • Design Surface Model - Ideally points / surface nodes at all Design Pile locations

The video below shows how best to structure this information in TBC, typically we will do the following in a project template

  • Rework the block boundaries so that they are all unique closed lines that are a little larger than the array boundaries that will be located inside the block boundary. Place all the Block Boundaries on a Layer in a specific layer group that holds the key Pile Design data (Block Boundaries, Block Names, Array Boundaries, Site Working limit Boundaries). The Block Boundaries will be given a name of the Block e.g. Block 53. The linework may be given a little heavier lineweight e.g. 0.6
  • Rework the Site limit boundaries to make sure that they are continuous lines and that they are all on the correct layer. Again make them slightly heavier weight and give them names e.g. Site Limits.
  • Rework the Array Boundaries. Typically the arrays can be drawn as a block that has a rectangular boundary plus a diagonal line across the array. The diagonal line is not needed for the Piling workflow. Clean all array boundaries so that the lines are closed polygons and that any additional linework is removed. Place all the array boundaries on a single layer.
  • Block Names - place the Block Names on their own layer. Recenter block names as necessary.
  • Other pertinent Site Data can be placed in a separate Layer Group so it can easily be turned on / off.

Once all of the data is Layered and Layer Grouped you can define View Filters that can be used to quickly turn groups of information On / Off. It is worth having a View Filter for the following

  • Design Piles (include the Design Pile layers, the Block Boundaries, Block Names and Array Boundaries).
  • As Built Piles (include the As Built Pile layers, the Block Boundaries, Block Names and Array Boundaries).
  • Design and As Built Piles (include the Design and As Built Pile layers, the Block Boundaries, Block Names and Array Boundaries).
  • Site Data - Include all the Site Data Layers

Define the Project Coordinate System in Project Settings - Coordinate Systems - Change

If you define this as a project Template (Open the Project, make any changes required and then Save As a template, it will be added to your Project Templates list presented when you start a New project. Once setup, this makes it easy to start a new project whenever it is needed with all of your base data included.