While it may not seem like winter yet across much of North America, you should still know how to remove snow from solar panels when Old Man Winter finally arrives.
Snow-covered solar panels are less efficient because they are obscured from sunlight. Removing snow from solar panels must be done carefully so as to avoid damaging your investment.
Here are 8 ways to do so:
1. Sweep or Rake Snow from Solar Panels. This method works best with dry, powdery snow. Heavy, wet snow is more difficult to remove. With a ladder to reach your rooftop, use a push broom to carefully move snow from the panels. You can also invest in a roof rake at RoofRake.Com.
2. Install your Solar Panels on racks at a 35-degree angle. Angling the position of your solar panels will not only help you maximize efficiency, but can also help keep snow off your solar array. With a greater tilt, snow will more easily slide off, instead of accumulating.
3. Melt snow with blowing air. Some creative homeowners remove snow from solar panels using a leaf blower with PVC pipes or plastic air hoses. Warm air directed at or under the solar panels can melt the snow, or simply blow the snow away (again, this works best if it is dry, light snow) with such a system.
4. Use a soft ball to break up accumulations. Have your kids help you remove snow from your solar panels! By tossing a Nerf ball, or other soft non-damaging ball at the panels, you can break up accumulations and speed up the melting process.
5. Try an ice melt sock. This is a DIY snow removal system tat requires using calcium chloride in a sock, which is placed at the top of your solar panels. The chemicals accelerate snow melt.
6. Use Heat tape. Some homeowners have had success removing snow from solar panels using heat tape applied to the sides and top of the rooftop array.
7. Spray off Snow with a Garden Hose. If the temps are above freezing, one of the simplest solutions is to spray the snow off your solar panels with a garden hose. Quick, safe and effective!
8. Set up a tarp before the storm. With advance forecasting, you can set up your solar panels to allow for easy snow removal by covering them with a tarp. With a pulley system, you can then simply pull the tarp down, removing all the snow in one easy step.