- The best time to think about snow retention on solar roofs is before it even snows
- The Trouble with Snow: Managing the performance impact of snowfall
- Look out below!: Safety a top concern when removing snow from solar panels
Technology clears panels of wintry precipitation using small amount of panel power
When snow accumulates on panels, owners are advised to let it melt. Cleaning snow from panels with a broom, for instance, is not only unsafe, it could void a manufacturer warranty. But in cold conditions, melting can take days. While that may be a safe and acceptable option for some grid-tied users, off-grid systems could run out of reserve power, taking critical systems offline.
Blizzard Solar, an international company that specializes in innovative solar technologies, has developed a system to combat snow accumulation. The Autonomous Winter Solar Panel, or AWSP, lets modules operate efficiently in all conditions.
The system, which can be can be integrated into manufacturers’ panel design, senses the presence of winter precipitation on the panel. It then uses a minimal amount of stored panel energy to clear the panel of the snow, frost, sleet and ice. The technology can be used with framed or frameless panels, and is a significant cost-saver in terms of panel cleaning and energy maximization. The AWSP technology, which is for sale outright, could open new markets for PV distribution.
Although helpful, in most winter environments, the slanting of panels or implementation of trackers are not sufficient on their own to facilitate the effective removal of all winter precipitation.
Further, commercial solar farms are prevented from handling the surface of panels to remove winter precipitation due to warranty voiding concerns. This technology does not touch the surface of the panel and clears not only the panel surface but reduces avalanche snow build-up below the panel to allow for effective future winter precipitation clearing.
Blizzard Solar has several cost-effective products before numerous international patent bodies that allow solar products to operate effectively in all seasons and all environments. These products autonomously remove winter snow and summer dirt to fully maximize solar efficiency.