Anecdota

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Cracking the Myths Behind Snow and Solar Panels


If you thought solar panels were only useful during warm seasons. think again. Hi, I’m Greg O’Brien with the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative. For many parts of the country, winter means snow, some areas already experiencing its first bouts. And while it may not sound like snow and solar go together, turns out they do. Thanks to DOE’s SunShot Initiative funding, regional test centers throughout the United States find that photovoltaic panels, which converts solar radiation into energy, successfully generate electricity and snow and other severe conditions. In fact, because most panels tilt at an angle, light snow has little impact on them at all because the snow just slides right off. Even though heavy still can limit the amount of energy panels produce, sunlight is still able to move through the snow and generate electricity. Snow can be a problem for solar panels when it’s heavy snow that accumulates, which can put stress on the support structures. Thankfully, researchers are exploring ways to make panels more sturdy and cost-effective. SunShot has recently launched DuraMat, which is a durable module materials consortium, led out of NREL with three other national labs, that is working to rapidly accelerate the deployment and development of new module materials and architectures. Part of that goes into being able to improve performance in extreme climates and extreme conditions. Something else cool to note, snow makes an excellent panel cleaner. As snow melts away, it takes dirt with it, allowing panels to reach higher effeciencies. For more information on solar panels, visit energy.gov.

14 thoughts on “Cracking the Myths Behind Snow and Solar Panels

  1. Great short video! Would have liked to see some more details on the findings. Maybe a link to the regional test centers reports and findings. And it was tough to find this section on energy.gov so if anybody else cares to look here is the SunShot initiative section (https://energy.gov/eere/sunshot/about-sunshot-initiative)

  2. What about using a "heat coil" along the outside frame of the solar panel to be automatically activated when the panel senses a certain amount of pressure (snow)?  The "heat coil" just needs to be a thermal wire or coil like used in a hot plate that heats up the outside frame that will then melt off the snow.  Once the panel gets some light, I believe it has better chance of melting the rest of the snow.  Here in Chicago, December was a terrible production month because of snow.

  3. Snow is actually great for the solar panels, because snow reflects light towards them from the ground. The cold weather is has clearer air, when it's super cold. The cold also increases the effeminacy of the solar panels.

    The only issue of snow is the weight, just like on the roof too.

    The main issue is not the snow, but the reduced amount of sunshine in the winter.

  4. I can make it myself. Just got instructions from Avasva website and I'm ready for do it 😀

  5. First, I live off Grid in central BC. 15 -270 watt panels. on 3 ground based stands, 5 on each stand. In the winter my panels are nearly 90 degrees perpendicular to the ground, yet even light snow sticks and put them in a resting disposition. I use a simple windshield squeegee on an aluminum pole. Works fine. Must be done every time it snows. I suspect guy doing vid lives in Florida or AZ. and is not on solar.

  6. Good to see alternative energy working in those areas and yes I do want solar to succeed in cold climate locations of the world.

  7. its not snowy out there….. snow is not even 1 inch thick on a ground level…. by the way, nuclear energy is better in every way … Nuclear 100% can be recycled, takes almost no space, one power plant produce more energy then all solar panels and wind turbines on a planet combine, BUT it require good engineering and management ….. Now go and Sell your Asshole on a street faggot

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