SFS provides pile load testing and design services for utility scale solar projects across the United States.
Pile load tests are engineering tests specified by ASTM standards D3689, D3966, and D1143. While previously reserved for large structural and civil applications, these tests have quickly become a staple of modern solar foundation design.
Rather than developing foundation designs using geotechnical estimates and large safety factors, pile load tests (aka pull tests) allow engineers to develop lean site specific designs. When a solar project requires hundreds or thousands of foundation piles, a lean design saves a lot of money. For example, if pile load tests allow an engineer to reduce the overall foundation embedment by 1 foot on a 100 MW solar project, this results in savings of over $1,000,000.
The use of pile load tests (pull tests) is not limited to design; they may also be used during construction as confirmation of successful pile installation. Typically referred to as production pile load tests, these tests are randomly performed on installed production piles to ensure overall quality. In most cases project specifications require that 1% of all production piles are tested. However, even if pile load tests aren't required initially, many engineers, contractors, or developers may later require them due to the benefit of knowing that their solar foundations have been installed properly.
Please visit our website to find out more, www.solarfoundationservices.com.