Snow Management & Solar PV Arrays

Solar panels are designed to withstand environmental elements such as rain, hail, heavy snow and strong winds, and are installed with these factors in mind.

January 26, 2022

You may be wondering how to manage debris that can build up on your solar array. Some clients choose to clean or brush off their array if any debris (leaves, sticks, bird poop, etc.) has accumulated, but usually, the panels maintain themselves with the help of rain, mounting angle, and wind.

However, in the winter, we face another environmental factor, snow. Depending on the year, and where you are geographically located, you may experience long stints of heavy snowfall.

In most cases, snow will not have a significant impact on your energy production. If you are a grid-tied system, net-metering will allow you to build up credit which will help offset potential lower winter solar production. Clients with off-grid systems where solar is the only source of energy may need to manage snow more diligently than grid-tied systems.

Light snow will not have a huge impact on energy production, and will often clear itself with help from the slope angle and melting.

Heavy accumulation can build up on your solar panels and may result in large releases of snow (almost like avalanches) which can create a potential hazard for walkways, exits, property damage, etc. As large quantities of snow accumulate on the panels, a layer of water between the panel and snow will form as the snow melts. This layer of water creates a frictionless slippery surface, which allows the snow mass to slide off like an avalanche.

In order to proactively mitigate potential issues created by snow, Hakai Energy Solutions offers to supply and install snow management components to your solar array.

The need for additional snow management components can be assessed on a case-by-case scenario. Hakai offers three different types of snow management components which can be installed individually or collectively depending on solar array configuration and anticipated snowfall. In general, these snow management components can be installed pre or post solar array installation.

Contact us for more information regarding snow management and your solar system.

Ask us how we can help you manage snow buildup on your solar panels.