How long does it take for snow to melt off your panels?

wtrey613

New Member
We tend to have snowstorms in the early months of December and November, and we are sometimes not there for weeks at a time to wipe the snow off our new system.
Our roof pitch is 33 degrees, but I wanted to know after a big snowstorm how long does it take for snow to melt off panels? I've been reading that melts faster than a normal roof.
 

wtrey613

New Member
Half hour to days to never, depending on the temp and amount of sun....
Got it, we are building an insulated case for our batteries so the ambient temp can get down to 20F at night and we are trying to get an estimate for our run time during the winter days. The insulated case might help.
 

MichaelK

Photon Sorcerer
When I have my arrays set to their winter angle, which is about 50 degrees, the snow is off within a day. That is assuming we're not there to clean off the snow, and it's what I see on the security cameras.
 

stuart_

New Member
My panels are at 45. Snow sliding off depends on the amount and the quality of snow (it is said the Inuit have 15 different names for types of snow.) I concur with the above bit about hours to days to never.
 

svetz

Works in theory! Practice? That's something else
The sad part is that the day after a snow storm is always the clearest day ever and the panels are covered in snow....
Not to mention the increased efficiency from lower temperatures and reduced air mass.
If you had bifacials you'd probably also see gains from the increase in albedo.
To make matters even more insufferable, I've never seen any snow stick to my LGs (don't hate me, my winters usually don't dip below the 60's); if it makes you feel better according to the IPCC I may have to worry about them sinking below the ocean in a few hundred years ; -)
 
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svetz

Works in theory! Practice? That's something else
Our roof pitch is 33 degrees...
Someone said they used rainX on theirs to make the snow slide off, and later switched to a hydrophobic coating. I think another thread talked about hydrophilic vs. hydrophobic coatings and which might be better, but no consensus as I recall.
 

wtrey613

New Member
Someone said they used rainX on theirs to make the snow slide off, and later switched to a hydrophobic coating. I think another thread talked about hydrophilic vs. hydrophobic coatings and which might be better, but no consensus as I recall.
Yeah I've heard mixed reviews about adding rainX or a foreign substance, might degrade the coating they have on it already?. Some people say you shouldn't clean off the snow cause it would "Void the warranty" but we have no warranty on these used panels.
I am willing to try hydrophilic or some substance. This year will be our learning year.
 

wtrey613

New Member
My panels are at 45. Snow sliding off depends on the amount and the quality of snow (it is said the Inuit have 15 different names for types of snow.) I concur with the above bit about hours to days to never.
With your heating pads, do you know what temp they kick on at? and shut off at? I've found some but its 45F on, and 67F off, which is way too conservative.
Id like to have something like 35F On, and 45 off.
Any way to jerry rig the temp settings?
 

svetz

Works in theory! Practice? That's something else
I am willing to try hydrophilic or some substance. This year will be our learning year.
Looking forward to that post! Been really curious if it's worth doing. I suspect hydrophillic would work best for me (no tilt) and hydrophobic for folks with a > = 10 degrees.
 

stuart_

New Member
With your heating pads, do you know what temp they kick on at? and shut off at? I've found some but its 45F on, and 67F off, which is way too conservative.
Id like to have something like 35F On, and 45 off.
Any way to jerry rig the temp settings?
sorry for the confusion, I meant my panels are at a 45 degree angle. I do not have heaters.
 

Professor Farnsworth

๐•ƒ๐• ๐•˜๐•š๐•”๐•’๐• โ„‚๐• ๐•Ÿ๐•ค๐•–๐•ข๐•ฆ๐•–๐•Ÿ๐•”๐•–
If i was north in the snow i would have the panels at 90 degress or very close to that.
 

Steve_S

Offgrid Cabineer, N.E. Ontario, Canada
My rack is set to 45 Degrees and can build up snow pretty fast, I think the thickest I've seen on them is about 40cm / 15" or so but once it starts to slide off it comes off fast. Occasionally I have to go out and give it a quickly brush with one of THESE:

My panels are Canadian Solar, their docs are quite specific about NOT using Potions/Lotions and magic Solutions to clean / maintain the panels, "Water Only". I am pretty sure all other panels makers state the same.
 

Wellbuilt

Solar Addict
Iโ€™ll be getting some white stuff in the next few weeks , 1st or second week in oct .
Last year the snow iced over on the panels the day after Christmas and stayed to March .
It has to get above 20o and I need some sun for the snow to slide off .
I get a inch of snow or more every nite so one there is a few inches frozen solid im done until it warms up .
I can Squeegee the panels every morning and keep them clear if Iโ€™m at the cabin .
This pick was in october last year.
I had 3โ€™ of snow most of last winter .
The 6 panels on the right are easiest to clear .
Iโ€™m working on a ice scraper to go on the end of my pole.
Some times I get on the 8โ€™ ladder so I can reach better
the pole is 33โ€™ I think .
D618404C-4D87-42FF-A1C5-941F444A6252.jpeg
 
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