Home editor's blog on going solar Solar panels with snow slow snow-free panels

Solar panels with snow slow snow-free panels

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December’s been snowy so far here in the Denver, Colo. area – which means snow blocking our solar panels, and me kicking myself once again for not investing in a micro-inverter based PV system.

With micro-inverters you throw off the ridiculousness – there really isn’t any other way to put it – of the lowest common denominator situation of a central inverter-based system which sees entire sets, or strings, of panels that are snow-free reduced to zero production by a few panels that are still largely snow-covered.

Snow = a lot of shade
As you can see in the video clip at the start of this entry, we’ve had six completely snow-free panels for two straight days. But they’ve produced absolutely no electricity thanks to the fact that other panels located on the same string are still snow-covered. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence for us.

As I note in the voice-over for the video, I simply don’t understand the logic of central inverter based systems. And, if I had to do it over again, I definitely would have invested in a micro-inverter based PV system for our home, or perhaps added Tigo Energy Module Maximizers, which essentially allow a central-inverter system to mimic the advantages of a micro-inverter based PV system.

I’d say it’s about time for Enphase, Tigo, and others to start playing up their potentially significant advantages not only in terms of shade produced by trees, houses and buildings, but shade created by sitting snow.

Are you listening, Enphase and Tigo?

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Snow is covering some of our 5.59 kW solar system, not all of it. But the system isn't producing any electricity at all here thanks to the considerable disadvantages of a central inverter based system.

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