Snow-cover on my Solar Panels!

by Ben N on December 9, 2017

I woke up this morning to a gray half-light, and a blanket of snow covering everything…. including my solar panels!

Hmmm. What would this do to my solar power production? To find out, I thought I would clear the snow off as many of the panels as I could and see what the difference would be.

For starters, the bottom edge of the solar panels is about 9 feet high. I reached up with a push broom, but could only clear the very bottom of the lowest row of panels. So, I got out my 8-foot step ladder. On level ground, the ladder is sturdy and solid, and every bit as safe as it would be in summer, as long as I’m careful about my footing. From the ladder, I was able to reach the entire bottom row of solar panels, although I did have to move the ladder quite a bit.

Once I did that, I headed back into the house to check the web interface for my solar panel production. Essentially, the panels with the snow on them were blacked-out, although I was surprised that they DO still make power, just almost nothing compared to the uncovered solar panels.

By around mid-day, there was a little more light, though it was still far from being a sunny day. I’ll have to keep an eye on the panels and see how warm it has to be before the snow can slide off. A few solar friends of mine have extendable snow rake poles which they like. I’m pretty sure I’ll be investing in one in the future.

For now, we’ll see how long that snow stays up there. Based on how much power I create from the one exposed row of panels, I should be able to figure out how much power I “lost” from the others being snow-covered. Heck, I could probably figure out the exact monetary value of what that snow-cover cost me! That snow-rake will probably take some time to pay for itself….

Until next time, stay charged up!

-Ben

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 John Campbell December 10, 2017 at 11:42 am

What you need is an AVALANCHE! SRD20 Snow Rake Deluxe 20 with 24-Inch Wide Rake Head 20-Feet Quick Connect Lightweight Aluminum Handle!

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