Thursday, February 8, 2018

Solar and snow

The first morning after a snow storm is often sunny.  This morning (Feb. 8, 2018) was a good example and I got up early so I can clear all the snow off my solar panels and collectors.  Yesterday's total was about 8" capped with a layer of ice.  I have a snow rake that can reach up about 25 feet with multiple extensions.  Each different type of snow requires a different strategy.  Sometimes I can just whack the panels and it all breaks loose in big chunks.  Other times I have to chip away at it.  Today I worked my way up from the bottom.  Some big areas broke loose and came down hitting me in the legs which is why I wear waterproof slickers.  That stuff is heavy!

Here's a time-lapse of the process:

Obviously the sooner I get everything cleared, the more free electricity and heat I get.  Maine is at the 43rd parallel and we get a lot less sun in the winter so I want to optimize every Watt.  My electric bill is at the minimum connection fee for most of the spring/summer, but jumps up quite a bit in the winter due to my increased use of electricity for heating and the reduced solar.

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