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  • Originally posted by bcroe View Post
    You are so right. I am more worried about wheeling out the 27 hp, AWD snow blower. The temps
    have finally dropped below freezing; we still had blooming flowers this morning. I started using
    partial resistance heat at night, so the heat pump doesn't have to work so hard (I might have a
    big energy surplus this winter). Still having decent PV production about half the days; hope it
    doesn't go 27 days in a row without seeing the Dec sun like last year. With the snow, only did
    30 KWH today.

    Just Tuesday I finished setting up the upper-lower panel gap, so that when I push the snow
    (pretty much as DanS26 described), I will only need to push half as much, half as far, to the
    nearest gap. Only 2 wires now cross each gap to the upper panels now, each securely tied
    to a main support. Needed a couple short MC4 "extension cords" to do the extra distance.
    Bruce Roe
    Bruce,I know this sounds strange, but I actually look forward to pushing snow. It means the next day there will be full, bright, cold and maximum production. I know you can relate as a mid-westerner.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by DanS26 View Post
      Bruce,I know this sounds strange, but I actually look forward to pushing snow. It means the next day there will be full, bright, cold and maximum production. I know you can relate as a mid-westerner.
      I'm of course looking forward to testing my panel snow gap theory. Generally the snow falls during
      the night here, so I can be seen getting them cleaned off just before sunrise or whenever the
      snow stops. Bruce Roe

      Comment


      • Originally posted by bcroe
        Today was the setup for another snow experiment. I have panels 2 high, meaning snow must
        slide a long way to be cleared off 2 panels, and the pile of snow gets pretty big while clearing and
        at the bottom. On one support of 6 panels I moved the upper panels 4" higher and the lower panels
        2" lower for a 6" gap between them. Snow will only need to slide half as far, in half the quantity
        before falling through the gap.

        On the next support of 6 panels, I just moved the upper for a gap of 4". This winter will be the
        test: does the gap work and how big should it be? Bruce Roe
        Today was the first gap test, went pretty much as I expected. Snow was willing to drop into
        a 6" gap (instead of sliding onto another panel). A little coaxing was needed to get it down
        the 4" gap. I will probably go with 7" or 8" gap to make it easy in the future. I will need to
        either turn some panels around, or use some short extension cords to cover the gap.

        It was very nice not seeing snow on one panel NOT sliding down onto another panel.

        Snow storm started 3 pm Fri, ended 2 pm Sat at about 10". That's different, the storm usually
        ends by sunrise. Low light out there; the inverters didn't have enough power to start this
        morning. However the near vertical panels facing E and W took just a tap and the snow fell off.
        They made enough energy (3KWH) in the next hour, I can still say it has made some energy every
        day. Need to work on a motorized tilt system. By sunset all panels were cleared. Bruce Roe

        Comment


        • OK, everything is changed. First I had to find my password, did. The LAST button on the pages seems to be missing; need to go to the
          bottom to at least see the number. If there is a NEXT THREAD button, I can't find it. Bruce Roe

          Comment


          • Originally posted by bcroe View Post
            OK, everything is changed. First I had to find my password, did. The LAST button on the pages seems to be missing; need to go to the
            bottom to at least see the number. If there is a NEXT THREAD button, I can't find it. Bruce Roe
            Some things will have to be done differently in the new format. So far there are still ways to do almost everything that people want.
            Notice that at the top of this page there is currently a "Page N of 8" display. That tells you that there are 8 pages, and if you type a page number into the first box you will be taken directly to that page.
            In the list of pages at the bottom of the page the last page number of the thread is always the one directly displayed at the end of the list.

            Next thread seems to be missing completely, but I never used it so I did not notice. Or do you just mean Next Page?
            The arrow buttons after the Page N of M display will move you one page forward or backward. If you are at one end of the page list only one of the two arrows will be active.

            If you are not already at the last page, there will be a Next button after the page list at the bottom.

            Dave

            P.S. If you post your comments and questions about the new software installation in the thread where Solar Pete announced the change they will be more likely to be seen and answered by staff.
            Last edited by inetdog; 12-02-2015, 06:54 PM.
            SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

            Comment


            • Thanks, I have no idea how to find that thread, or if I even saw it. Pictures on old posts seem intact. When I try
              CAMERA, SELECT FROM PHOTO ALBUMS, get message
              Error: You have no uploaded photos or albums to choose from
              Bruce Roe

              Comment


              • Originally posted by bcroe View Post
                Thanks, I have no idea how to find that thread, or if I even saw it. Pictures on old posts seem intact. When I try
                CAMERA, SELECT FROM PHOTO ALBUMS, get message
                Error: You have no uploaded photos or albums to choose from
                Bruce Roe
                I think that there were some subtle changes in the database that kept some features from coming over. There is an Album feature that does not appear to be working, and downloading new images is intermittent.

                Try posting comments and bugs in this thead: https://www.solarpaneltalk.com/forum...lar-panel-talk
                Last edited by inetdog; 12-03-2015, 06:08 AM.
                SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by bcroe View Post
                  Pv snow gap
                  Today was the setup for another snow experiment. I have panels 2 high, meaning snow must
                  slide a long way to be cleared off 2 panels, and the pile of snow gets pretty big while clearing and
                  at the bottom. On one support of 6 panels I moved the upper panels 4" higher and the lower panels
                  2" lower for a 6" gap between them. Snow will only need to slide half as far, in half the quantity
                  before falling through the gap.

                  On the next support of 6 panels, I just moved the upper for a gap of 4". This winter will be the
                  test: does the gap work and how big should it be? Did it in the afternoon, had just enough sun
                  time left to make sure all were still working properly. Bruce Roe
                  3 days ago we had a snow & sleet storm with a few inches of stuff. Its been too cold since to
                  remove the ice frozen on, but I went out to see what happened without my intervention. Groups
                  of 6 panels (2 portrait high) had snow slide down over 2 panels so that the upper panels were
                  60% covered and the lower panels were 100% covered. The lower panels were COMPLETELY
                  CLEAR where there was a gap. The upper panels had snow slide down into the gap. The upper
                  panels were about 40% snow covered above a 4" gap, and 25% covered above the 6" gap.

                  Results of manual snow clearing were good, but self cleaning were even better. By a year from
                  now, there will be a 6" gap for all 12 platforms. If I build any more platforms, panels will be landscape
                  (to reduce the distance for snow to slide off). I am wondering, why no one ahead of me has made
                  such a suggestion? I expect this won't work on a roof mount, as the gap would fill up instead of
                  dropping to the ground.

                  Next time we see the sun and above freezing temps, will see about getting the rest of the snow
                  off my south facing panels. Despite the gloom, my snow free near vertical east-west facing panels
                  managed to eek out 17KWH. Bruce Roe

                  Comment


                  • My generation isn't much different this year. But the heat pump has helped reduce use in the fall. Now we
                    have had such warm weather (that means well above freezing in NW IL), energy use for warming the house
                    (to 74 deg) has been way down. At this rate my 2015/16 KWH reserve is way above previous. More like
                    12,600 KWH instead of 7000 last year. Perhaps I'll turn up the temp in the shop to use some up. Bruce Roe

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by bcroe View Post
                      If I build any more platforms, panels will be landscape (to reduce the distance for snow to slide off). I am wondering, why no one ahead of me has made such a suggestion?
                      It is standard procedure in snow country to put panels in landscape orientation, but not for the reason you mention. Within most solar panels are several strings of cells in parallel. The strings run vertically if the panel is in portrait orientation and horizontally if the panel is in landscape orientation.

                      Snow slides down the panel and gets caught up on the lower frame of the panel. In portrait orientation, the snow blocks the lower part of each string of cells within the panel (no power). In landscape orientation, the snow entirely blocks just one string of cells and leaves the other parallel strings clear to make power.

                      Also popular in snow country are black-framed panels... they accumulate less snow than white or aluminum frames.

                      --mapmaker
                      ob 3524, FM60, ePanel, 4 L16, 4 x 235 watt panels

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by mapmaker View Post

                        It is standard procedure in snow country to put panels in landscape orientation, but not for the reason you mention. Within most solar panels are several strings of cells in parallel. The strings run vertically if the panel is in portrait orientation and horizontally if the panel is in landscape orientation.

                        Snow slides down the panel and gets caught up on the lower frame of the panel. In portrait orientation, the snow blocks the lower part of each string of cells within the panel (no power). In landscape orientation, the snow entirely blocks just one string of cells and leaves the other parallel strings clear to make power.
                        --mapmaker
                        My installer didn't seem to be aware of this "snow country" practice; in fact I haven't noticed ANY panels
                        mounted landscape here. Maybe that will change. If I lost the bottom row of cells in many panels, I think
                        the whole string would drop out. It would be dominated by the parallel strings with no blockage, at full voltage.
                        Bruce Roe

                        Comment


                        • It was a little late, but eventually the sun come out on one of the shortest days of the year and made me 70 KWH. Bruce Roe

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by bcroe View Post
                            It was a little late, but eventually the sun come out on one of the shortest days of the year and made me 70 KWH. Bruce Roe
                            Every little bit helps. I hope you don't get as much bad weather as you did last winter.

                            Comment


                            • Looks like dreary Dec is past, getting more more sunny days where production reaches half the summer peak.
                              1/2" snow came at night; I looked at the gloom and said "is it worth cleaning them?". A little later though the sun
                              started showing, so I went out and cleaned them up. The inverters immediately showed 12 KW. Once the sun
                              cleared all shading, they maxed out at 15KW whenever no cloud was blocking. Its often too cold for the heat
                              pump, but I'm trying to keep enough resistance heat on so that the furnace doesn't run. Bruce Roe

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post

                                Maybe yes, maybe no. It depends. sometimes snow will slide of, sometimes not. Beware of snow slides.

                                Any recommendations for when it DOESNT naturally slide off? My installer said the same thing, not to worry about it and that gravity will take care of this as my roof is well pitched. Reality is that half of my array cleaned itself, the other is completely covered in snow and has a huge snow/ice dam at the bottom that will prevent anything from sliding off. Both halves of my total array are identical and face the same direction with same roof pitch. Unclear why one side is fine, the other is a disaster.

                                Looking for ideas how to fix this mess. It's a colonial house so the roof is high up and I can't get a ladder up there this time of year with all the snow. Hesitant to use a roof rake for fear of damaging the panels.

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