Importance of Snow Removal from Solar PanelsSolar panel systems are a smart and eco-friendly way to generate energy for your home. In winter, however, snow accumulation on the panels can cause a reduction in their efficiency and yield. Therefore, it is extremely important to remove the snow from solar panels in a timely and safe manner. Not only does clearing snow from the solar panels increase their output, but it also supports the durability and longevity of your solar panels. This can extend the lifespan of the panels and maximize your return on investment.
Risk of Damage if Snow is not RemovedIf the snow is not removed from solar panels, it can cause damage to the panels and reduce their efficiency. The additional weight of snow and ice can cause them to strain, and in extreme cases, the panel or its brackets may snap and fall off the roof. Moreover, in the long run, ice dams form when snow melts and then refreezes on the panels. The expansion of ice into the solar array can lead to cracking in the solar cells. Thus, it is important to take measures to ensure that your solar panels are kept in an optimal condition during the winter months.
Safe Methods for Removing Snow from Solar PanelsWhen clearing snow from solar panels, it is important to use safe methods and to avoid damaging the panels or yourself. Here are some of the safe methods for removing snow from solar panels:
- Use a soft-bristled broom or brush to clear the snow.
- Removing snow with a hose or pressure washer may seem like a good idea, but this can cause ice to build up on the panels and cause damage.
- Do not use abrasive materials like shovels or hard-bristled brushes as these can scratch the panels and reduce their lifespan.
- Clear snow either early in the morning or later in the evening when the panels have cooled down and the snow is frozen.
How Often Should You Clear Snow from Solar Panels?The frequency of snow removal from solar panels depends on the amount of snowfall in your area. In heavy snowfall areas, it is recommended to remove snow every time the accumulation reaches two inches or more. If there is light snowfall, you can wait until the accumulation reaches four inches or more before removing the snow. The more frequently it is cleared, the less harm it will cause to the panels.
Impact of Snow Buildup on Solar Panel EfficiencySnow buildup on solar panels blocks the sunlight from reaching the panels, and as a result, it reduces their energy yield and overall efficiency. The more snow there is on the panels, the less energy they will generate. According to research, a thin layer of snow can reduce the output of solar panels by 5 – 10%, while a heavy layer of snow can reduce their efficiency by up to 50%. That is why it is important to clear the snow off the panels as soon as possible.
Advantages of Clearing Snow from Solar PanelsClearing snow off the solar panels has numerous benefits for the efficiency and lifespan of the panels. These benefits include:
- Increased energy production, which leads to increased savings on electricity bills.
- Increased solar panel lifespan and durability, which results in lower maintenance cost.
- Avoiding snow damage, which saves money on costly solar panel repair or replacement.
- Keeping solar panels in optimal working condition, which maximizes their ROI.