Another snowfall, another solar sweeping session

snow-solar-panels2editors-blog-entry3I’m on a mission to see how much solar generated electricity we can save by sweeping the lower of two solar arrays that together make up our 5.59 kW rooftop system.

On Jan. 19, one inch of white powdery snow fell on our Colorado rooftop. I swept the snow off of the lower of the two arrays that make up our system at 8:15 a.m. on Jan. 20, which turned out to be a blue-sky, sunny day. Doing this helped us add an additional 6 kWh to our seasonal “sweep-away-the-snow” total.

Of course, because I cannot safely sweep the snow off the upper array, we also lost roughly 6 kWh of production today.

With the help of a TED system and Google PowerMeter, I’ve been keeping track of how much electricity we’ve generated as a result of me sweeping snow off of the lower, 13-panel array. I’ve done this three times now. So far, as you can see in the table below, thanks to my sweeping, we’ve generated 46 kWh we would have lost to snow cover.

This also means that we’ve lost roughly 46 kWh because I have not been able to clear the upper array of snow.

I’ll continue to offer updates for every snowfall. Stay tuned!


Sweeping the snow off solar – An ongoing tally of kWh gained

Snowfall date(s)

Snowfall Amount

Date and time of snow sweeping (lower of 2 arrays of 5.59 kW system only)

Estimated kWh gained from sweeping (gain may have been across multiple dates)

Dec. 30-31, 2010

2 ½ inches

Jan. 1, 2011
12:30 p.m.

7.3 kWh

Jan. 9-10, 2011

6 inches

Jan. 10, 2011, 8:30 a.m.

33 kWh

Jan 19, 2011

1 inch

Jan. 20, 8:15 a.m.

6 kWh

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