November 30, 2017
Snow on solar panels

Throughout the winter your solar system will be subjected to a decrease in daylight, more cloud coverage, and snowfall. If not addressed accordingly these issues could make an impact on your solar panel energy production.

CALCULATING SOLAR OUTPUT

Solar energy output is an important stat to use to compare how your solar panels perform during different times of the year. These averages will help you determine when you should clean your solar panels, or when an issue may be occurring.We at CAM Solar offer in-home solar output systems that will calculate and optimize your solar panel output. Monitoring systems can also be used to determine when you will need to remove snow from your system.

WHEN TO REMOVE SNOW

Most of the time you will not need to remove snow from your system. If the sun is out and shining, it will more than likely melt the snow build up on your solar panels. The angle in which your solar panels are mounted will also help your system stay snow free. The smooth solar panel surface will easily slide any snow build up off. The deep blue and black colors also help the panels absorb the sunlight’s heat to melt the snow.

You should remove snow when it has built up for consecutive days without melting. When snow sticks around for consecutive days it will start to build an ice layer just on top of your solar panels. When this starts to occur you may need to consider clearing your roof of snow.

ROOF SWEEPING

If you have easy roof access from the ground, perhaps all that is needed is a snow rake or a large broom. However, if your roof is hard to access, especially in the harsh weather, you should not risk getting on top of your roof.

The soft and rubbery snow rake is attached to a long telescoping pole to quickly clear snow off the solar panels without damaging or scratching the surfaces. The system is ideal for single story homes and makes the whole clean up process go by quickly.

If you are able to do so, sweeping off those snowy panels with a broom means not requiring any special equipment and is the most cost-effective option. However, be aware that this obviously poses some serious and dangerous safety issues because of having to place a ladder on the snowy and wet ground and having to work on a wet roof.

SOLAR PANEL HEATING

Solar panels typically installed on the south facing roof throughout the United States. This is so the panels can be angled to always get sunlight throughout the year, and by having the panels face directly at the sun, snow will also melt faster.

Solar panel heating systems are used on systems installed in areas with heavy snowfall and long winters. These heating systems use either a heated water line or electric line to warm up the solar panel surfaces just enough to melt snow.

With the heating systems, you will never have to worry about a snowy day impacting your solar panel energy production again.

HOW NOT TO REMOVE SNOW

Hot water should not be used to melt ice from your solar panels. The temperature difference can cause rapid expansion in the glass frames which could lead to severe cracking. If cracking occurs, melting snow will leak into the solar panel housing causing shorting and serious panel damage.

If your solar panels are on a second story roof, we highly advise you to wait for the snow to melt. Accessing your roof is especially dangerous throughout the winter, and without proper tools and safety equipment, you should not risk an accident.

INTERESTED IN SNOW REMOVAL OR MONITORING SYSTEMS?

CAM Solar offers professional solar panel installation services throughout Texas and Colorado. Our 30 years of experience in the quality workmanship, placement, mounting, and installation of solar modules on roofs or on the ground, gives us the exceptional knowledge to do all the required work in a timely and satisfactory manner. We are happy to answer any of your questions regarding solar panel heating and snow removal systems. Contact CAM Solar today to learn more.

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