To broom the panels or not?

softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,085 ✭✭✭✭
Bit of a project to get on a 10' flat roof and scrape the snow off. 1/3 of the snowfall has already fallen off the panels. It is 32 degrees and cloudy with no real change expected. A wide broom would knock the snow off. An ~20 minute project. Safety level? Not good. Not bad. 
First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries

Comments

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,085 ✭✭✭✭
    Just learned that a 1/12 can be quite slippery when the bottom snow has melted a bit. Good thing the panels sit on an ~1/24 with granular roofing. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • bentherebenthere Solar Expert Posts: 113 ✭✭✭
    IMHO, it depends on the quality of your charge yesterday and the prospects for a good charge tomorrow.  I'd sweep them off anyway but maybe some day I'll take the more cautious path.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,085 ✭✭✭✭
    The weather has been exceptionally cloudy for weeks now. Continues to be so. Which helped prompt the decision to gather what I could when I could.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • wild01wild01 Solar Expert Posts: 97 ✭✭✭
    1 story house or 2 story?
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,085 ✭✭✭✭
    1 story, the panels sit on a fairly flat roof 10' off the ground. The sun usually makes the snow cascade off. Unless it is cloudy or the weather was odd. Had a very unusual amount of clouds for weeks now. This is an alpine desert where it is sunny the vast majority of the time. Until lately.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • wild01wild01 Solar Expert Posts: 97 ✭✭✭
    edited January 19 #7
    I use a telescoping pole with a broom to clear my panels, should work for you. Something like this https://www.walmart.com/ip/DocaPole-6-24-foot-Extension-Pole-Multi-Purpose-Telescopic-Pole-Window-Cleaning-Gutter-Cleaning-Hanging-Christmas-Lights-Bulb-Changer-Paint-Roller-Te/321789971 it doesn't get it all off but it usually will get it close enough that they will clear pretty quick if we get enough sun to produce power. If you buy the pole i linked don't extend any section all the way out. Leave about 8 inches in or out will break. Use a very light push broom or vehicle snow broom and start at the top of your array and pull the light upper layers of snow off if it's turned to ice just leave it as long as you get the heavy snow off they will clear fairly quickly.

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,799 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 19 #8



    We are running close to 10 days with no direct Sun light, might be trying to beat the record of 4 years ago.

    I have had some bright days, where I gained more than I lost, but haven't had a 'full battery' in 10 days now. I was at about 75% peak the last couple days. Rain and snow tonight.

    On the Plus side I got to stress test my wood rack for my solar panels with 18" of snow. She came through with flying colors!
    Image may contain outdoor




    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,085 ✭✭✭✭
    Ground mount systems are far better when it comes to snow removal. My panels sit two feet back back from the edge. Not enough to safely work in front of with snow and ice. Too far back to be extremely accessible from the ground. 

    If snow was a bigger issue here I would probably construct a "staircase" to the roof. Deserts usually have little snow. 

    Snowfall does present an argument for steeper panel angles. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • DanS26DanS26 Solar Expert Posts: 237 ✭✭✭
    Here is my snow removal tool.........


    18.2kW Kyocera panels; 2 Fronius 7.5kW inverters; Nyle hot water; Steffes ETS; Great Lakes RO; Generac 10kW w/ATS, TED Pro System monitoring with PVOutput.org
  • jonrjonr Solar Expert Posts: 1,235 ✭✭✭✭
    In December (and depending on latitude) there isn't much loss even if you go all the way to vertical.  Useful for keeping snow off.

    I am available for custom hardware/firmware development

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