Starlink Dish Wind Load- A Guide on How to Calculate Wind Load

Follow this Starlink Dish wind load guide to identify how resilient your dish is to vagary weather. 

Anytime you’re dealing with a satellite internet service such as Starlink or Cox, you must be wary of the effects of wind.

 It is because it takes just one stormy gale to leave you disconnected. 

Hence, taking care of aspects such as how strong your dish is in the face of strong winds is crucial. 

By the end of this article, you’ll be able to calculate your Starlink Dish wind load. 

It is important if you live in US wind-prone states such as Alabama, Maryland, and Georgia. 

Table of Contents

What is Wind Load?

It measures a component’s stress in the face of windy conditions. Here is the basic wind load formula: 

F (wind load) = A (area) x P (pressure) x Cd (drag coefficient.). 

So what’s its significance?

Wind load ranks among the top considerations you need to make when determining the ideal placement point of your Starlink dish

Why? Because of the following two possible outcomes if a strong wind blows its way:

  • First, a strong wind will affect the dish mount. If they are too strong and the support is made of a soft material such as aluminum, it will bend or, at worst, tear off. 
  • Also, there’s a significant chance that the winds will dislodge the dish off the mount if they are so turbulent. 

So taking wind load measurements is critical in developing mitigating measures for the above-mentioned possible scenarios. 

Which Factors Affect the Load?

A Barometer for Measuring Air Pressure. 

A Barometer for Measuring Air Pressure

From the formula highlighted in the previous section, you realize that there are three primary ingredients for calculating wind load. 

Wind Pressure

Also called the velocity pressure, it is a parameter that highlights the force wind exerts upon any surface it blows over. 

The wind pressure of a flat platform such as our Starlink dish depends on two primary factors. 

We calculate the wind pressure by squaring the wind speed (in miles per hour) and multiplying it by a constant (0.00256). Hence, Wind Pressure = Wind Speed Squared x 0.00256.

Coefficient of Drag

This parameter defines the ease of an object slipping through the air. For instance, a drop of water has a 0.4Cd. 

So we also need to know Starlink Dish’s actual coefficient of drag rating of Starlink Dish to obtain its overall wind load. 

Notably, this parameter depends on the shape of the object you’re dealing with. Hence, it’s a constant for Starlink dishes as they are of the same size. 

Surface Area

Finally, how much of the Starlink dish interacts with the blowing wind? It is what the surface area of contact is all about.

 Notably, we need the square-foot output when calculating the surface area for wind load calculations. 

Therefore, take the length of the dish and multiply it by the breadth to obtain the surface area of the broad face. 

How to Calculate the Wind Load for a Satellite Dish?

Rectangular Starlink Dish. 

Rectangular Starlink Dish. 

Now that we know the basics of wind load let us delve into how to calculate the Starlink dish wind load. 

Required Tools

Our exercise is simple, and thus you don’t need to invest in sophisticated measuring equipment. You simply require the following: 

  • A tape measure to get the dimensions of the dish
  • A calculator to tackle the arithmetic bit of the calculations. 

Step 1- Calculating the Wind Force

First, you must identify the prevailing wind speeds in your zone. If you live in the continental US states, the speeds range between 70 and 80 mph, but this varies from site to site. So for our calculations, let us assume that the wind speed in your locale is 68mph. 

Hence, the Wind Force/Pressure = 68 x 68 x 0.00256 = 11.83744. 

Step 2- Multiply by Dish Surface Area

First, obtain the dimensions of your Starlink dish using the tape measure. 

Say that you find that the dish measures 0.95 feet by 0.82 feet. The Dish Surface area equals 0.95 x 0.82 = 0.779 Square feet. 

Hence Wind load up at this juncture = 11.83744 x 0.779 x Drag Coefficient. 

Step 3- Multiply by the Coefficient of Drag

Here’s the final step of our calculation. The coefficient of drag is dependent on the shape of the dish. 

So here, let us assume that the drag coefficient of our dish is 1.3. Our final equation will appear as follows: 

Wind Load = 11.83744 x 0.779 x 1.3 = 11.9877755 lbs. 

This result means that if you live in an area with wind blowing at 68mph, your Starlink Dish will have an 11.99 Wind Load. 

But note that our calculation depends on estimates, so ensure you have the correct figures when working out your case. 

Conclusion

Wind load calculations will save you from a lot of trouble when mounting your dish, especially if you live in a gale-prone location. 

The last thing you want is to wake up one morning and not find your dish after a hurricane blew it off. 

So take charge now. Know how resilient the dish is in the face of strong winds, as this will be handy in choosing the best mitigation strategy during mounting.