The winter period is characterized by light or heavy snowfall. A solar panel can experience some weather-related challenges during this period. Removing snow from your solar panels is essential, as it will help boost overall power output.
Some methods of keeping snow off your panels include: using a hose, and roof rake, heating your solar panels, and installing a snow guard. Accumulated snow on your solar panels can hinder electric output in the winter period. Snow removal from panels must follow a careful procedure to prevent damage and preserve the surfaces.
You must consider safety measures if you are to climb to your roof, especially during icy weather. You can hire a professional to help with the cleaning as well. In this article, you will learn how to keep snow off solar panels.
Ways to keep snow off solar panels
Use a leaf blower
You can use this tool to blow air onto the roof and dislodge accumulated snow. You must be careful not to stand directly under the roof, and while using a ladder, balance it properly. Also, take care not to let the power cord get in contact with water to prevent electrocution.
Try a roof rake
They are specially designed for roof cleaning. This is one of the best methods to use. You can safely reach onto your roof while standing on the ground and get the snow off. While this method may seem tedious, it yields wonderful results.
Be sure to use one with soft padding to prevent scarring of your panels. The best option will be to use a roof rake with a telescopic handle.
Use a Hose
With a hose, you can propel jets of water unto your roof and wash off accumulated snow. The only downside is extremely cold weather, which can worsen the condition.
Water driven under pressure through a hose is powerful enough to dislodge large amounts of snow at once.
If the snow on the panels is not much, throwing a softball might help to remove the deposits. A gentle force can make the snow fall off. During heavier snowstorms, this method is ineffective because the ball might get stuck on the roof.
Set your Panels at the right angles
Most roofs allow rain, snow, and ice to run off to the ground. However, consider adjusting the angles if snow regularly accumulates on your panels. You can get professional help from an installer and set the panels to an angle of around 35 degrees.
You should also note that the sun’s position changes over the seasons. You will need to adjust your panels slightly to get maximum solar power, especially during the winter months.
Solar panels installed closer to the ground are easier to adjust and clean in the event of snowfall.
Try heated panels
These are often used in very cold areas with a lot of snow. If the snowfall persists over some time, this is a great option. The system is built with pipes through which warm water is channeled.
You will need a professional to install the heating system safely. It is also important to note that the water must be warm and not hot. Using hot water during cold weather on your panels will lead to wear and tear.
Remove nearby branches
During snowfall, a huge amount of snow can accumulate on surrounding trees and suddenly drop off on your panels. They also obstruct the limited sunlight available in the winter period. Always look for branches close to your rooftop to keep them trim and tidy.
You can be proactive and do this during the warmer months, so you don’t go out in the cold months.
Install a snow guard
Snow guards have a double function. They ensure your safety from a sudden snow avalanche and protect your solar panels. This requires professional services to install if you are not technically savvy. They help hold back the snow until it melts and runs off gradually.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
Should I clean the snow from my panels to generate more power?
Except in cases of continuous and heavy snowfall, it is usually advisable to wait for the snow to melt. This is because there are risks involved in cleaning your panels out in the snow. With the outlined methods, you can get your system back on track if there is a noticeable drop in power.
Will a huge amount of snow destroy my panels?
Solar panels are built to withstand loads of up to 5000 Pascals. Except in severe cases, your panel will be fine when it melts off.
How can I keep snow permanently off my solar panels?
The best method is to install a snow guard and heat your solar panels. A panel at a higher temperature will easily lose any snow that sticks to it. This does not guarantee they won’t get covered in extreme weather like a snowstorm.