Removing Snow from your Solar Panels

As solar panels become more and more common place in society, largely due to their ability to provide clean and consistent energy, the need for understanding how to properly maintain one’s solar panels is increasing.   Solar panels are durable yet can be damaged by a well-meaning homeowner in ignorance if they do not first learn how to properly care for their solar panels.

The most common maintenance that is required by solar panels in the colder parts of the country is to remove snow from the panel.  Snow build up on a solar panel will typically not harm the array, but it will significantly reduce the effectiveness of the device.

removing snow from your solar panelsHere are a few things to keep in mind when you are removing snow from your solar panel.

  • Do not use sharp or hard tools to clear the snow from the panel.  Sharp or hard utensils for snow removal can scratch and damage the protective layer of glass on the solar panels.  You can use instead a rubber squeegee or even a common house broom to clear the snow from the panel.
  • Be aware of where the snow will go.  Standing on a ladder or skirting the roof can be dangerous enough as it is.  You do not need an avalanche of snow plummeting your way.  So before you start to remove the snow, have a general idea of where it will go as you remove it.
  • Be safe and never stand on the panel itself.  Solar panels have a protecting layer of glass that can become extremely slippery when wet or snowy.  This combined with the sharp angle of the roof can lead to disaster if you are not overly cautious.  A good rule to follow—never stand on the panel.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/kvansanten/3324268691/”>K. van Santen</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>