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Waxing Solar Panels to reduce snow buildup?

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  • 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, 06:04 AM. Reason: removed link
    Flexible Solar Panel Supplier
    [url]www.sunflexsolarhk.com[/url]

  • #2
    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.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

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    • #3
      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, 06:04 AM. Reason: removed link
      Flexible Solar Panel Supplier
      [url]www.sunflexsolarhk.com[/url]

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      • #4
        Rain-X has a solvent, and I don't know what it would do to warranty or the panel seals.
        Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
        || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
        || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

        solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
        gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

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

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

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

              Russ
              [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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              • #8
                kind of hard to rinse when the temp is -30
                Rich
                WWW.solarsaves.net

                NABCEP certified Technical Sales Professional

                http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showth...Battery-Design

                http://www.calculator.net/voltage-drop-calculator.html (Voltage drop Calculator among others)

                www.gaisma.com

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                • #9
                  At minus 30 deg dust should not be a problem!
                  [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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                  • #10
                    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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                    • #11
                      Using a thin wax like rain-x would work well, in my opinion. If only applied to the glass, assuming the panels use glass, it shouldn't void any warranty. The problem would be that you have to apply it when it's above 40-50 degrees (F) I believe.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sunflexsolarhk View Post
                        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.
                        Hello friend in Hong Kong!

                        RainX is fantastic stuff and might serve your purpose well. I'm considering putting it on my panel as well! It makes water "bead" up, like mercury or water on an oil stain. The wind blows the beads of water right off. So you don't need your windshield wipers, its awesome! The beads fall right off and you get much better vision.

                        Now... it might HELP. I don't know if it will keep the snow off by itself. I'm assuming northern china is much like the Minnesota or up in Canada. The only way to keep snow like that off the panel is with a brush. They should put the panel by their house and buid a secure step ladder that makes the panel accessible. Safety first.

                        I'm happy to speak with someone from the other side of the world! Peace and love my friend!

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                        • #13
                          Did someone say "Thwack the panel with a stick"? lol

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