Snow removal from a roof can be dangerous, never mind when there are panels involved. While it is best to sit and wait, there are two other ways you can safely remove snow from your panels to get power right away.
If you don’t need the power immediately, there is no need to remove snow from the panels. Usually, the snow melts off of them pretty quickly on its own. The panels are good at reflecting heat, so they will quickly warm up under the sun and melt the snow.
A lot of what isn’t melted just slides right off. Since the solar panels don’t have much in the way of traction and they are angled, as soon as the snow gets too heavy, it will often fall off on its own. (1)
This is the safest option, as you don’t have to worry about falling off your roof or having a lot of heavy snow fall on you. Unfortunately, this isn’t the best option for everyone, especially people that want to maximize their profits or use their solar panels as their sole source of power.
It also may be ideal to remove snow from your panels if a lot is piling on. Snow can be heavy, especially wetter snow, and removing it quickly can prevent you from damaging your panels.
In that case, there are some steps you can take to remain safe, protect your panels, and get power quicker.
You want tools that are designed to be gentle. It doesn’t do you any good to remove snow if you are covering your panels in cracks.
There are plenty of snow brooms out there that are long enough to reach the top of the roof, but are also gentle enough to not damage your solar panels. In general, you want something soft, like with a foam head, so you don’t have to worry about damaging your panels. (2)
You still have to be careful that you are far enough away that the snow won’t fall on you. This is the best option for lighter snow, or if you are removing snow as it falls so that you don’t have to worry about injuries.
If you aren’t confident in your abilities, another option is to hire a professional. There are companies out there, especially in places where it snows a lot, that are focused on removing snow from rooftops and solar panels. You will just have to be clear with them where the panels are if the snow is thick so they don’t step on them.
- Jelle, B. P., Gao, T., Mofid, S. A., Kolås, T., Stenstad, P., & Ng, S. (2016). Avoiding Snow and Ice Formation on Exterior Solar Cell Surfaces – A Review of Research Pathways and Opportunities. Procedia Engineering, 145, 699–706. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877705816300893
- Winter Tools from Angel-Guard. (n.d.). https://angelguardproducts.com/winter-tools/