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Thread: Waxing Solar Panels to reduce snow buildup?

  1. #1
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    Default Waxing Solar Panels to reduce snow buildup?

    Hello all, my wife's parents live up in the far north of China in a rural village. In their village the winter temperatures often fall to -30F or more. Also, since they live in the countryside having week-long power-outages are not uncommon. We want to try to supplement their heating with a little solar energy. The only problem is mass amounts of snow. Please forgive me if this is a stupid question, I live in tropical Hong Kong, would waxing the solar panels with a slick coat of car wax and placing them at an angle provide any anti-snow qualities at all?
    Last edited by russ; 03-18-2011 at 06:04 AM. Reason: removed link

  2. #2
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    putting wax on the panels may help a little bit, but if you want solar heating, there are heat panels that are much more ( 40%) efficient then the electric panels are (15%)

    If you adjust the panels near vertical, they gain some power from light reflected off the snow on the ground. Using a MPPT controller, in cold weather with bright sun and snow, you can get nearly 180% of rated power. That's really handy. And at near vertical angles, snow does not stick.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply! Im going to take your advice. You wouldnt know anything about rain-x would you? Someone mentioned it would be a good idea.
    Last edited by russ; 03-18-2011 at 06:04 AM. Reason: removed link

  4. #4
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    Rain-X has a solvent, and I don't know what it would do to warranty or the panel seals.

  5. #5
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    Rain-X interesting... got to look that up..

  6. #6
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    but wouldn't waxing attract dust or/and increase losses??

  7. #7
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    When simply rinsing them works well I don't see the need for anything more.

    Russ

  8. #8
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    kind of hard to rinse when the temp is -30
    Rich
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  9. #9
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    At minus 30 deg dust should not be a problem!

  10. #10
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    Snow at -30 deg F is easy to deal with. It's so dry, you could just thwack the panel mount with a stick and all the snow slides off (if it hasn't all ready). It's when you get freezing rain and sleet on the panels. I needed an ice scraper to clear the panels. I think the vertical mount sounds like a heck of a good idea.

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