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Small Cabin Forum / Off-Grid Living / Snow and ice removal/prevention for solar panels.
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# Posted: 30 Aug 2020 22:26

I have been using the rain ex for probably 10 years at least. I can't say that it has hurt the panel outputs.
I have also used off the shelf no name brand windshield de icer. But the rain ex seems to last longer.
I used to have access to large amounts of denatured alcohol. I would use that after sleet or ice storms to remove the ice build up. But be careful. No matter what you use. Sometimes you can trigger several sheets of ice to come ripping down the roof towards you.
Dont know how high your panels are off the ground,, so you will have to find a way to shoot whatever you choose up that high. I used to use a regular El Cheapo garden sprayer. Now I use a Worx hydro shot rechargeable pressure washer. It has an attachment so you can put any liquid in a 2 litre soda bottle, and shoot it about 15 to 20 feet.

# Posted: 31 Aug 2020 06:04

Thanks! I might give this a try. Usually the snow melts in two to three days and I can go a full two... three days if we conserve so haven't worried too badly.

My panels are a good 15-20' off the ground. As long as the back deck roof is free of snow I could climb up there and spray down the panels. Start on the far side and try to get off the roof before it gets too wet/slick I guess. Might be able to hit the last couple from the ladder.

More worried about chemicals damaging the panels. 10 years is a long time to be treating them without damage. Everything I read says don't put anything on them. I may try it on the 3, 250s I have at the back of the deck. Those would be easy to replace (all my panels are the used ones from Santan Solar, $50 EA so not a lot of money in them) if I did damage them.

Attached a pic... the square bump near the ridge are the panels.


Anyone else do anything else for snow removal ?

# Posted: 31 Aug 2020 09:19

I’ve actually shoveled mine. Never even put a scratch on them. They seem pretty tough to me

# Posted: 1 Sep 2020 16:35

Not sure about shoveling snow off panels, definitely a good chance of scratching them if it's a metal shovel.

The picture shows 1 panel off the back deck, now there are 3 there, mounted with the tops even with the deck floor. As can be seen, the roof mounted panels are snow covered but with just a bit of sweeping in the morning, the deck mounted panel is free of snow. I think we will be pleased this winter to have 750 watts that can be easily cleared of snow so they can make power! I think I will spray one of them with RainX just to see how it works... if I can remember I'll report back!

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