Midnite charge controller, snow melting mode questions....

EverlongEverlong Solar Expert Posts: 36 ✭✭
How well does it work? im thinking of getting their top model now-250, thinking of upgrading next year my solar panel array. I get snow on my roof, and panels were covered with the damn stuff last year for few days few times. I cant access them in winter. So i would hookup a 24v battery charger in order not to kill my battery bank and get it depleted.

Comments

  • boBboB Solar Expert Posts: 965 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Midnite charge controller, snow melting mode questions....

    Snow melting doesn't work quite as good as it sounds. It does work, but only if it is slightly below freezing and not
    a whole lot of snow on the panels.

    Also, if the Classic is filled up with PV, (near maximum rating of PV modules connected), then it might not even
    work that well because it takes a LOT of power to heat the modules up. If the Classic were maybe filled up to
    a third of its rating, it might work some, but I suggest trying Rain-X on the modules so that the snow slides
    off fairly easy... Also tilting the modules more helps the snow/ice to slide off easier.

    boB
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,925 ✭✭
    Re: Midnite charge controller, snow melting mode questions....

    If you put your panels vertical enough, the snow will slifde down. Panels get warm by themselves and melt some snow, which creates a lubricating layer, so that the snow slides down. I've seen this happening at -20C. Mine are at 65 degrees and It usually takes only few hours to self-clean in the sun. I normally do not wait for this to happen and clean the snow up, but if I don't it happens very quickly.

    At lower temperatures you may get some sticky snow which then freezes on panels and cannot be removed. When the Sun appears, it may take a whole day to melt this stuff, but meanwhile panels are producing at 50 to 80%.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Midnite charge controller, snow melting mode questions....

    I always shift my panels to vertical (90*) for Winter. NO snow at all ever collects on them. Yes, they are tipped down a little lower than Winter sun position, but not really enough to cause problems. In fact the advantages of no snow more than makes up for any losses that way. On top of that, I get sun reflected off the snow covered ground, hitting directly on the panels in this position, so overall, Winter production per sunny hour outstrips even cloud edge effect during Summer. I'd never consider doing it any other way. But to each his or her own, it's a free couple of countries.
  • EverlongEverlong Solar Expert Posts: 36 ✭✭
    Re: Midnite charge controller, snow melting mode questions....

    Guys Thanks, unfortunately the solar panels are somewhat in the middle of the roof and somewhat inaccessible. Two years ago i fell down from about 13 feet trying to fix my Ham radio antenna onto a pile of snow, guess i was LUCKY , so i dont go onto the roof when there is any snow, on the ground or on the roof.
    I live in a subdivision, and thats the only place when they get sun starting in the morning, till probably 2pm. I still some charging just from daylight... I will have to try the Rain-X method :))))

    boB - nice picture on QRZ! :) is that you?
    Ve3plo here ;)
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Midnite charge controller, snow melting mode questions....

    we have had many discussions over the years on snow removal. most just tilt the pvs a bit more and/or get an extended broom to wipe off excess snow. if one were to use the snow melt feature it would be more in conjunction with the other efforts with the sun out to only speed the removal up a tad. with large snowfalls you may have to wait for nature to take its course if you can't reach the pvs to physically clean them. i'm not sure where you are or what angle you have your pvs at, but often times it isn't necessary to go as far as to have them sit vertically at 90 degrees. wet sticky snows blowing in will cause it to stick even on vertical pvs.
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Midnite charge controller, snow melting mode questions....
    Everlong wrote: »
    Two years ago i fell down from about 13 feet trying to fix my Ham radio antenna onto a pile of snow, guess i was LUCKY , so i don't go onto the roof when there is any snow, on the ground or on the roof.

    The lesson I would learn from that accident is not to go up on the roof UNLESS there is snow on the ground to break my fall. --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • EverlongEverlong Solar Expert Posts: 36 ✭✭
    Re: Midnite charge controller, snow melting mode questions....
    vtmaps wrote: »
    The lesson I would learn from that accident is not to go up on the roof UNLESS there is snow on the ground to break my fall. --vtMaps

    Well, you must be different than :)
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