How to prepare your solar panels for the winter?Ilumen
The winter is almost upon us. Sustained freezing temperatures, heaving snowfall,… Your solar panels may get a rough time. We present you 5 tips to prepare them for the winter.
Ignore the snow! Or be careful…
A snowy roof may well create stunning pictures, but for the electricity production of your solar panels this is obviously harmful. Is it advisable to remove the snow cover from your panels?
If there is only a thin layer of snow that is going to melt quickly, you better take no action. As soon as the temperature rises and/or the sun starts to shine, the snow will disappear immediately.
When there is a lot of snow on your solar panels and temperature remains negative, the panels will generate no electricity for some time. This situation should obviously be avoided.
In the latter case, you should decide for yourself whether it’s a good idea to remove the snow. It is not without a risk to enter a snowy slippery roof. Moreover, when using an ice scraper or broom you might damage the solar panels. The hosing of solar panels (ice layer creation) or the use of salt (roof damage) are absolutely no good solutions.
You better use a squeegee or a soft retractable rake for the roof. Whichever option you decide, be careful!
Adjust the angle of the solar panels (if possible)
Solar panels with an adjustable angle can also provide a solution to intense snowfall. With an angle of 40 degrees or more, the snow is removed from the panel. Keep in mind that in strong freezing temperatures, there is the risk that snow is attached to the solar panels.
An additional advantage of increasing the angle of the solar panels is that during the winter, the sun is in a lower position than in other seasons. Because of this your solar panels are better directed towards the sun and therefore will perform better. Of course, the amount of light remains still the crucial factor in order to generate sufficient electricity.
Don’t fear the cold
Periods of sustained cold occur almost every winter. Do they constitute a danger to your solar panels?
On the contrary! The lower the temperature, the better the performance of solar panels.
Perform a visual check
Phenomena such as intense hailstorms and strong winds may occur during the winter. Therefore it is important to perform regularly a visual ‘check’ of your solar panels.
Are your panels still in place or have they shifted? Is there damage due to hail storms? You better detect such problems in time before the yield of your panels will suffer from it!
Don’t wait until after the winter
Are you considering the purchase of a solar panel installation? Certainly don’t wait until the winter is finished! Of course, the yield of solar panels is higher in the summer, but also in dark months a good electricity production can be obtained.
Installing solar panels during the winter is perfectly possible. Only with freezing temperature and slippery this is better avoided due to security reasons.