How do I Get the Snow off my Solar Panels? This is a question that all solar panel owners living in wintry conditions have to confront. You know that the panels are delicate and you don’t want to mess up your shingles or the solar mounting systems. Still, the snow is up there and is preventing the panels from making electricity, so what do you do? First and foremost, it is never a good idea to climb up onto you roof in snowy and icy conditions. Your health and safety is much more important than your solar panels, so don’t go climbing up onto your roof and falling off like Clark Griswold. There are some other methods that work.
Use a Broom Climbing up a latter isn’t nearly as dangerous as standing atop your snowy roof. Climb up a latter and try to pull the snow off with a large push broom. Do not use too much force with the broom as it may damage the solar panel. Also, never use a rake or something sharp or metal. The surface of your solar panel has a layer of protective glass that you do not want to damage. Damage from the homeowner is probably not covered by the warranty, so be very careful if you decide to try sweeping the snow off of your panels.
Spray them with Water There are several theories around that claim using chemicals can help keep the snow off of your panels. This, however, is not recommended. People have suggested spraying your panels with cooking spray or even dousing them with windshield wiper fluid. None of these is recommended as it can fog up the panels permanently and cause a decrease in energy yield. You can use water from the hose to try spraying off the snow, just make sure it doesn’t freeze on to the panels. Lastly, never try to melt the snow with hot water. When hot water is poured onto glass it often causes the glass to crack.
Let it Melt While this may seem like a frustrating answer, letting the snow melt is probably the best way to handle snowy panels. This is true because you don’t want to risk injury just to try and coax a little extra power out of your solar panels. Secondly, most solar panel providers allow you to build up credit in the sunnier months to compensate for the snowy winter months. This means that the extra power you generate in the summer can be saved up for the winter. Your solar panels are placed at an angle to ensure that the snow will melt and drain right off the surface.
Be Safe Whatever you decide to do about the snow on your panels, be sure to take all of the necessary safety precautions. You donâ€™t want to damage the panels but, more importantly, you donâ€™t want to hurt yourself in an effort to earn a few more watts of energy. Usually, the safest place on a snowy day is sitting by your fireplace with a mug of hot chocolate. Stay safe! Photo Credit: Mark Moz, Luke Austin
This is a question that all solar panel owners living in wintry conditions have to confront. You know that the panels are delicate and you d...