Oh, the weather outside is frightful! So, should I clear off the snow on my solar panels? This is a very common question here in Reno, and a good one! What happens when there’s 6″ of snow on my solar panels?
The answer is, nothing. But that’s okay! The risk to you and your solar panels is not worth trying to clear away the snow to get more electricity. It’s icy and slippery up there, and there is no reason to risk injury for a couple of kWh. You also risk damaging the solar panels and voiding your products’ warranty.
The best thing to do is to let the snow melt off by itself. Because your solar panels are smoother than your roof, the snow will slide off fairly quickly as the temperature rises. Though your solar panels are not heated, the UV rays from the sun will also warm them sooner than they will warm your roof surfaces.
Does this mean I won’t have electricity while there’s snow on my PV panels? Again, another good question, and the answer is you will have plenty of electricity while there’s snow. Remember, when the sun is shining brightly during our sunny days here in Reno, you are banking excess kWh with NV Energy to be used on those days when the sun isn’t shining. Assuming that your system was sized properly for your home and your annual consumption of electricity, cloudy winters and snow storms have already been factored into your production numbers. Your net metering agreement with NV Energy, provides electricity from the grid whenever your solar panels are not producing.
So relax, whip up some delicious hot chocolate, snuggle up in a warm blanket and enjoy the snow, cause inside, it’s so delightful!