Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Snow on panels

My solar array produces no electricity with about two inches of snow, so my solution has been to purchase a roof rake to push the snow off the panels. Even on cloudy days the panels make a few hundred watts of power, so the effort is worthwhile.

I removed about two inches on both Monday and Tuesday with items purchased from I checked at local big box home centers, but I couldn’t find a tool that extended longer than 16 feet. I wanted a longer tool that I could use without climbing on the roof or needing a ladder to reach all the panels. I located the RoofRake site on the Internet and phoned for further information. I ordered:

21-foot Dix Roof Rake
5-foot extensions (2)
Snow Pro head
1-foot elbow

The rake needed no tools to assemble and extends the 30 feet required to remove snow while standing on the ground. The Snow Pro head is made of a hard foam material that screws into the elbow; it is the only component that touches the panels. With a combination of pushing snow off the top of the array and dragging snow down to the ground, I have been able to remove a two-inch accumulation in about 20 minutes. Once the snow is removed, the panels seem to give off enough heat to melt any residual flakes. Checking the inverter after each removal session, I confirmed that the panels were again making electricity.

The company is located in Michigan, and I placed my order through the Web site. According to the packaging, the components are manufactured in the U.S. The cost for all items and ground shipping was $131.

Contact information for
Phone: 734-560-7153

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