Solar panels in the winter - look out - Survivalist Forum
Survivalist Forum

Advertise Here

Go Back   Survivalist Forum > >
Articles Classifieds Donations Gallery Groups Links Store Survival Files


Notices

Disaster Preparedness General Discussion Anything Disaster Preparedness or Survival Related

Advertise Here
Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Clean your solar panels, gain some wattage MyPrepperLife Farming, Gardening & Homesteading 22 09-04-2018 02:28 PM
Power pack or solar panels for long back country trips? ljcygnet Wilderness Survival, Hiking and Camping Forum 40 08-03-2018 02:16 PM
What tilt angle will keep solar panels clear of snow and ice? MyPrepperLife Farming, Gardening & Homesteading 40 02-15-2018 10:17 PM
This is how to design a solar power system for a small fridge sarco2000 DIY - Do It Yourself 65 01-21-2018 03:31 PM
The term "String" in reference to solar panels JimET Disaster Preparedness General Discussion 10 12-22-2016 09:21 PM

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-02-2018, 11:41 AM
Lagnar's Avatar
Lagnar Lagnar is online now
Retired kafir
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Utah
Posts: 12,195
Thanks: 21,392
Thanked 43,226 Times in 10,104 Posts
Exclamation Solar panels in the winter - look out



Advertise Here

I have 400 watts feeding my shed/reloading/ham shack.

We've had over a foot of snow during the last few days. The first storm was heavy and wet, and then it got cold and now the snow is light and fluffy. Snowing again today.

My solar panels are accessible because I wanted to be able to broom the snow off them. The first 6 inches of snow froze into ice, and the second and third snow stacked up to about a foot deep. The panels are at an angle of about 30 degrees but none of it slid off by itself.

I was able to get most of the snow off using a plastic blade (no metal edge) snow shovel, but there is still a thin layer of ice on the panels.

If they had been on my roof I would be out of luck. In the current conditions, light snow, they are making 7 watts with the snow removed.

The weather guessers say it won't get above freezing for the next week or so, but if the sun comes out it will probably melt the ice.

Lesson learned: Get the snow off them ASAP. If they are on your roof, good luck.

====

One thing I'm going to try is some silicone spray lubricant on them to keep the ice from sticking. It worked really well to spray my snow blower to keep the snow from sticking to the chute.
Quick reply to this message
Old 12-02-2018, 01:05 PM
charliemeyer007's Avatar
charliemeyer007 charliemeyer007 is online now
reluctant sinner
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Rent Free in your head
Posts: 13,086
Thanks: 33
Thanked 21,627 Times in 8,159 Posts
Default

I use Rain-X. 2 full coats does wonders on glass. My old FJ-40 Land Cruiser when properly treated would drop all the frost on the windows just by kicking the bumper. I use WD-40 in the snow blower's wet areas like the tines, chute and I spray the tracks with Armorall.
Quick reply to this message
The Following 14 Users Say Thank You to charliemeyer007 For This Useful Post:
Old 12-02-2018, 01:09 PM
InOmaha InOmaha is offline
Survivor
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 6,568
Thanks: 5,735
Thanked 20,159 Times in 5,258 Posts
Default

Hot water and a squeegee will get the layer of ice off. I had to do that when my daughter's car was covered in a layer of freezing rain one weekend. It was the only way to get into the car and much easier cleaning off the windows then scraping them. It took a while with hot water on her car doors to unfreeze them to the point we could get one open.

You can get a telescoping paint pole and start at the top in small areas to squeegee off the water before it freezes again. But if it's not sunny, it may not be worth the effort.
Quick reply to this message
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to InOmaha For This Useful Post:
 
Old 12-02-2018, 02:28 PM
Lagnar's Avatar
Lagnar Lagnar is online now
Retired kafir
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Utah
Posts: 12,195
Thanks: 21,392
Thanked 43,226 Times in 10,104 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by charliemeyer007 View Post
I use Rain-X. 2 full coats does wonders on glass. My old FJ-40 Land Cruiser when properly treated would drop all the frost on the windows just by kicking the bumper. I use WD-40 in the snow blower's wet areas like the tines, chute and I spray the tracks with Armorall.
Rain-X. Great idea! Going to get some.

I still wonder how those people with solar panels on their roofs deal with snow.
Quick reply to this message
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Lagnar For This Useful Post:
Old 12-02-2018, 02:43 PM
lasers lasers is offline
Hunter
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 1,548
Thanks: 10
Thanked 1,879 Times in 913 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by InOmaha View Post
Hot water and a squeegee will get the layer of ice off. I had to do that when my daughter's car was covered in a layer of freezing rain one weekend. It was the only way to get into the car and much easier cleaning off the windows then scraping them. It took a while with hot water on her car doors to unfreeze then to the point we could get one open.

You can get a telescoping paint pole and start at the top in small areas to squeegee off the water before it freezes again. But if it's not sunny, it may not be worth the effort.
Hot water on cold glass could be a risk of breaking the glass.
Quick reply to this message
The Following 10 Users Say Thank You to lasers For This Useful Post:
Old 12-02-2018, 03:42 PM
fancy1 fancy1 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 42
Thanks: 152
Thanked 68 Times in 23 Posts
Default

Try rubbing alcohol. I keep a spray bottle in each rig in the winter. Quick mist on the windshield and it slides off. Don't know about your solar panels, but it works on the vehicle glass.
Quick reply to this message
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to fancy1 For This Useful Post:
Old 12-02-2018, 03:51 PM
woowoo2 woowoo2 is online now
Hunter
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,401
Thanks: 1,602
Thanked 2,370 Times in 860 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by InOmaha View Post
Hot water
No, no, no and no.
Hot water and frozen glass do not mix
Quick reply to this message
The Following 9 Users Say Thank You to woowoo2 For This Useful Post:
Old 12-02-2018, 04:18 PM
Aerindel's Avatar
Aerindel Aerindel is offline
Abnormality biased.
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: MT.
Posts: 5,023
Thanks: 5,939
Thanked 11,676 Times in 3,815 Posts
Default

I wouldn't own a roof without a roof access hatch.
Quick reply to this message
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Aerindel For This Useful Post:
Old 12-02-2018, 06:20 PM
cook's Avatar
cook cook is offline
Survivor
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,841
Thanks: 2,798
Thanked 4,213 Times in 1,604 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagnar View Post
Rain-X. Great idea! Going to get some.

I still wonder how those people with solar panels on their roofs deal with snow.
They move down here to Fl.
Quick reply to this message
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to cook For This Useful Post:
Old 12-02-2018, 06:29 PM
Ricekila's Avatar
Ricekila Ricekila is offline
أنا لست إرهابيا
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Suffolk, LawnGuyLand, N.Y.
Posts: 46,537
Thanks: 105,775
Thanked 79,988 Times in 31,968 Posts
Default

Isn't there a way to safely back feed power into them or install heaters ?
Quick reply to this message
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Ricekila For This Useful Post:
Old 12-02-2018, 06:33 PM
panoz77's Avatar
panoz77 panoz77 is offline
Survivor
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 11,574
Thanks: 4,650
Thanked 19,489 Times in 6,891 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagnar View Post
I have 400 watts feeding my shed/reloading/ham shack.

We've had over a foot of snow during the last few days. The first storm was heavy and wet, and then it got cold and now the snow is light and fluffy. Snowing again today.

My solar panels are accessible because I wanted to be able to broom the snow off them. The first 6 inches of snow froze into ice, and the second and third snow stacked up to about a foot deep. The panels are at an angle of about 30 degrees but none of it slid off by itself.

I was able to get most of the snow off using a plastic blade (no metal edge) snow shovel, but there is still a thin layer of ice on the panels.

If they had been on my roof I would be out of luck. In the current conditions, light snow, they are making 7 watts with the snow removed.

The weather guessers say it won't get above freezing for the next week or so, but if the sun comes out it will probably melt the ice.

Lesson learned: Get the snow off them ASAP. If they are on your roof, good luck.

====

One thing I'm going to try is some silicone spray lubricant on them to keep the ice from sticking. It worked really well to spray my snow blower to keep the snow from sticking to the chute.
Get yourself one of these
https://www.amazon.com/KA-BAR-Lake-E...ar+ice+scraper
Quick reply to this message
Old 12-02-2018, 06:56 PM
IceFire's Avatar
IceFire IceFire is offline
I have control issues
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Southeast AZ
Posts: 4,911
Thanks: 4,624
Thanked 6,362 Times in 2,669 Posts
Awards Showcase
Outstanding Gardening Post or Thread 
Total Awards: 1
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by InOmaha View Post
Hot water and a squeegee will get the layer of ice off. I had to do that when my daughter's car was covered in a layer of freezing rain one weekend. It was the only way to get into the car and much easier cleaning off the windows then scraping them. It took a while with hot water on her car doors to unfreeze then to the point we could get one open.

You can get a telescoping paint pole and start at the top in small areas to squeegee off the water before it freezes again. But if it's not sunny, it may not be worth the effort.
Hot water on the glass runs the risk of breaking it. Use COLD water, instead.
Quick reply to this message
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to IceFire For This Useful Post:
Old 12-02-2018, 11:57 PM
drray777's Avatar
drray777 drray777 is offline
Survivor
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Durban South Africa
Posts: 2,431
Thanks: 3,929
Thanked 2,159 Times in 1,172 Posts
Default

After the Rain-X, why not cover them with a tarp at night and take it off in the morning?
Quick reply to this message
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to drray777 For This Useful Post:
Old 12-03-2018, 12:23 AM
Lagnar's Avatar
Lagnar Lagnar is online now
Retired kafir
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Utah
Posts: 12,195
Thanks: 21,392
Thanked 43,226 Times in 10,104 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricekila View Post
Isn't there a way to safely back feed power into them or install heaters ?
Is that really you?

They have a blocking diode to prevent back feed. Heaters would negate any positive energy gain from having the panels in the first place.
Quick reply to this message
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Lagnar For This Useful Post:
Old 12-03-2018, 12:30 AM
Lagnar's Avatar
Lagnar Lagnar is online now
Retired kafir
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Utah
Posts: 12,195
Thanks: 21,392
Thanked 43,226 Times in 10,104 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by panoz77 View Post
Cute.

I got my panels snow free with a plastic snow shovel. What I should have done is immediately cleared them off before the slush froze into ice.

Once again, what do people do when the panels on their roof get snow covered? Throw a tarp? Who has a freaking roof hatch? Climb onto a 8/12 snow covered roof or steeper and clear them off?

Really?

Rice, good to see you back! It's been a while.
Quick reply to this message
The Following User Says Thank You to Lagnar For This Useful Post:
Old 12-03-2018, 01:45 AM
Aerindel's Avatar
Aerindel Aerindel is offline
Abnormality biased.
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: MT.
Posts: 5,023
Thanks: 5,939
Thanked 11,676 Times in 3,815 Posts
Default

Quote:
Who has a freaking roof hatch?
Preppers who designed their house to have one or installed one afterwards.

Quote:
Climb onto a 8/12 snow covered roof or steeper and clear them off?
Put the hatch close enough to the panels you can work from it. Thats what I did for my chimney. I can put a step ladder in the hatch way and reach the chimney top from it. Nice since I have a three story building and a 6/12 pitch.

Or, just accept that solar sucks in winter climates, particularly on roofs. Its rooftop accidents that make solar more dangerous than nuclear per megawatt generated. You can look it up, more people killed falling off roofs installing solar on average than who have died in all nuclear accidents on average.
Quick reply to this message
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Aerindel For This Useful Post:
Old 12-03-2018, 04:05 AM
pengyou pengyou is offline
Hiker
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Nevada
Posts: 567
Thanks: 868
Thanked 427 Times in 232 Posts
Default

I'm glad you posted this - I have never thought about this problem. Would it be feasible/advisable to put some heating tape on key parts of the panels? By heating tape I mean the electric stuff that some people wrap around their pipes.
Quick reply to this message
The Following User Says Thank You to pengyou For This Useful Post:
Old 12-03-2018, 04:14 AM
Aerindel's Avatar
Aerindel Aerindel is offline
Abnormality biased.
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: MT.
Posts: 5,023
Thanks: 5,939
Thanked 11,676 Times in 3,815 Posts
Default

I'm sure you could use those gutter/eve deicing cables....but those use a lot of watts, kind of defeat the point of using solar unless you only have to use it once in a while and then get lots of sun afterwards to make up for it.

Quick reply to this message
The Following User Says Thank You to Aerindel For This Useful Post:
Old 12-03-2018, 06:33 AM
pengyou pengyou is offline
Hiker
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Nevada
Posts: 567
Thanks: 868
Thanked 427 Times in 232 Posts
Default

This is one of the down sides of having good insulation in the roof. If the roof were not well insulated, the heat from your house might keep the snow melting.
Quick reply to this message
The Following User Says Thank You to pengyou For This Useful Post:
Old 12-03-2018, 07:29 AM
Pitbull_Dallas's Avatar
Pitbull_Dallas Pitbull_Dallas is offline
Survivor
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 9,345
Thanks: 10,799
Thanked 27,230 Times in 7,138 Posts
Default

Are the solar panels covered with glass, plexiglass or lexan? If it's not glass, be sure to get the rain-X for plastics. Otherwise you'll mess them up..
Quick reply to this message
The Following User Says Thank You to Pitbull_Dallas For This Useful Post:
Reply

Bookmarks



Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Survivalist Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
Gender
Insurance
Please select your insurance company (Optional)

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:54 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright © Kevin Felts 2006 - 2015,
Green theme by http://www.themesbydesign.net