Dan's Solar Blog
My solar panel installation day and experience with going green.

Almost 400 kW produced for January; removing snow from solar panels

Yahoo! I am almost at 400 kw again. Maybe February will be 450 kw, onward and upward. Here is the graph for January 2011, enjoy. Yesterday, the system made almost 18 kWh. Today is sunny and it seems it will be sunny for the next two weeks. Good old sunny California. My daughters live back East and it has been snowing a lot there for the last few weeks. I read that Sungevity and other solar companies are moving into eastern states. It will be more of removing snow from your solar panels than washing them. I saw some articles online that explain the best ways to remove snow from solar panels and I will post them below. Have a great February.

From another blog – http://solarpowerpanels.ws/solar-panels/snow-on-solar-panels

I woke up this morning to the first snow of the winter season.  Only about 2 inches deep, but enough to cover the yard and streets with a calming white blanket.  The snow brings to mind one of the common concerns that people that own, or are considering, solar panels have.  Do the winter months affect the efficiency of solar panels?  What is the effect of snow on solar panels?

The good news is that, even if the weather outside is frightful, it can still be delightfully warm and lit inside your solar-powered home.  In fact, with the installation of solar panels on your home, you may be the only place in your neighborhood that retains power in a winter storm.  No need for a generator, either!  Don’t let this happen to you:

Truthfully, you will have to consider whether snow on solar panels is accumulating at a rate to slow or prevent their efficient operation.  Obviously, solar panels need to be exposed to sunlight in order to work.  Some sunshine can pass through an inch or two of snow, but more than that, and you may have to get up on the roof to clear away the snow from the solar panels.
Here are a few tips to deal with snow on solar panels, from actual homeowners:
1.  Tilt the panels enough so that snow and ice do not accumulate (I would guess this works for a light dusting or a few inches of snow, but not if you get a big storm).
2.  Toss a soft Nerf football at the panels to clear away a small patch – when the sun warms that area, the rest of the snow will melt away.
3.  Put rock salt around the solar panels to prevent freezing (some have noted that this may damage the panels).
4.  Get out a garden hose and spray away the snow from the solar panels.
5.  Use heat tape around the edges of the panels.
What do you think of these options?  Have you had to deal with snow on solar panels?  If you have any additional tips for removing snow from solar panels, please share them below!

FROM  http://solarpowerpanels.ws/solar-panels/snow-on-solar-panels – thanks.

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3 Responses to “Almost 400 kW produced for January; removing snow from solar panels”

  1. Thanks for the links to articles about removing snow from panels. I’m still trying to figure out the best approach for us and our 5.59 kW system in Aurora, Colo., where we have a shallow roof pitch, so snow doesn’t slide off our panels, where even a roofrake won’t give me access to the upper of our two arrays, and where snowfalls are typically followed by bright, sunny, but also often cold days.

    • Maybe you can invent or find an extender to your roof rake? When I washed my solar panels I was up on the roof doing it, though it was not cold or icy. Success to your efforts!

  2. What suprises people is that solar photovoltaic panels are really efficient even in the winter. The myth that solar panels need heat is wrong solar panels dont actually work as well if they get too hot ! You say that solar panels work really well in the winter which is propably true but we get much less sun in the winter and the sun is much lower in the sky so the angle the sun hits the solar panels is less.

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