Solar Panels and Snow
The changing of the seasons is a beautiful thing in the Northeast. With the change from fall to winter coming soon it brings feelings of the holidays, cozy nights, and the quiet of a beautiful snow fall. It also reminds us that temperatures will be dropping and no matter how beautiful the snowfall is, it can be a pain to clean up. From brushing off your car to shoveling the driveway, snow can be a hassle. Also, you may have concerns about your solar panels and snow.
When it comes to snow on your solar panels, we get a lot of questions from our customers as to what they should do about it. Should they let the snow melt naturally or try and clean off their panels? We recommend leaving the snow to melt, as it is a lot safer than trying to remove it from your panels. Remember, we do include snow cover in your estimated output of your solar panels when designing your system.
Leaving the snow alone to melt off of your solar panels is the safest and best option. There is no risk of damaging your solar panels or you getting hurt in the process. It can be tempting to use a roof rake to clean off your panels. However, that would mean you are swinging around a piece of plastic on a metal pole to reach your roof. When that rake makes contact with your solar panels it will not be gentle as they are difficult to control. The roof rake can harm a panel or catch on a roof mount. Also, the warranty for your solar panel equipment will no longer be valid if you are the one that causes the damage to them. Your panels are made of strong materials that will not easily break so why take the risk?
Patience is key while you are waiting for the snow to melt but your panels will assist with the process. The “photovoltaic effect” that causes solar panels to create electricity also generates heat. Sunlight will penetrate upwards of 12 inches of snow! Therefore, the heat your panels create, combined with the warmth of the sun, will expedite the melting process. It is well worth it to wait and not cause any damage to your panels, yourself, or your warranty.
Apex Solar Power guarantees the kWh production of your system for 10 years! If your system isn’t where it should be, we will make it right. That’s another great reason to let the snow slide off your panels naturally rather than swinging around a roof rake in the cold. We also take into consideration the short daylight, cloudy days, and the snowfall of a Northeast winter when designing your system. We design each system to provide the power for your home for the entire year. That means that the longer days of summer make up for the harsher conditions of winter. Let Mother Nature do the work and remember you have a kWh production guarantee for your system for 10 years so there is no need to put yourself or your panels in harms way.