New consulting relationship with GreenTecAuto begins
What actually goes wrong with the batteries????
A look at todays Hybrid and EV battery packs
Battery packs exposed
Keeping Warm In New England
Plugging into the SUN
50A 600VAC transfer relay
AC source transfer relay is finished
Adding some new batteries
All weather dish movers
Almost ready to wire things up
Assembling the parts for the load manager
Beating on the system/ use it or loose it
Better solar absorber plate
Better Specific gravity instrument
bringing in the batteries
Burgers are better
California or bust! Solar modified mobility scooter
Canning pot
canning season is here again
Concentrate the heat test #4
Connecting battery bank #2
Cooking some hotdogs
Crappy luck with the weather
Designing a simpler and lower cost solar tracking amplifier
Equilizing the batteries
Everything is working again.
Finally installed
Finally nearing completion of the battery enclosure
multytracker 1
First test
Getting a BIG solar plug
Getting some experience with DC
Getting started on the final wiring
Getting too old to be slinging 120 lb batterys into the rack
Giving the batteries a workout
Hot water tank as energy storage component test 1
Hot water test 2
Identifing the wires, and mounting the Inverter panel
Insulated hibachi reaches baking temperatures
keeping the head cool
keeping warm.
Sue Dabrowski (my better half) makes some solar eggs
Lightning the super fast EV minibike
Looking the data
Main structure of battery rack is finished
Making some stewed tomatoes
making the connection to the existing wiring
making the DC pos buss bars
More improvements to the dish
Multy purpose tracker 1
New tracking amplifier
No more throw away batteries please
Not very encouraging test # 3
Old Rear projection TV lens makes solar furnace
power distribution box fabrication
preparing to connect the big loads
Reading Specific Gravity accurately
running off grid all day
Running on batteries
Second test
Snow melt prep for test 2
Snow melt test one A close look at the process
solar cell adhesion test #1
Solar cells on my Insight ????
Solar cooker gets some wheels
Solar cookout in 20 degree weather
Solarfest 2013
Solarfest is next weekend so it is time to tweak the tools
Solar powered wood burner X-Y stage
Solar powered wood burner focus and lens assembly
Solar teaching toys
Solar tracking with no electronics" Solar Puppet"
Starting the rewiring
The 7 foot circle of sunlight moves to rear deck.
the final high current connections
the finished load center and charge controller connections
the heavy lifters arrive
The new batteries are finally installed and working
The snow is returning???
The snow keeps on coming, need to figure out a good way to keep the panels clear
The sun is dropping 1KW/SQ meter
The transfer relay is wired in and working.
Tracking the sun Big Time
Mikey's solar panel snow sweeper
Vertical and horizontal trackers installed, drive wheel controls
Very interesting heating element
Who pulled the plug?
Wood burning art ?
Yuck, more snow
Making a small solar concentrator
Building MIMA and the plug in adapters
Converting a telephone truck to electric
DIY dual pulse Capacitor Discharge Spotwelder
Getting in shape while making electricity
Replacing gasoline with solar electric lawn equipment
What is Genesis One?
How to stop the aging process DIY
MIMA Install Day 2005 a Big Success!
Building a hybrid car grid charger
Tapping into the Wind
Expanding MIMA with the Distribution board ( users projects )

The snow keeps on coming, need to figure out a good way to keep the panels clear

The snow keeps on coming, need to figure out a good way to keep the panels clear
snow removal test fixture #1

And were getting another snow storm. If this is an example of how winters will be from now on, figuring out a system for keeping the panels clear is looking like a necessary investment in time and some experiments.
The problems with this seemingly simple task, is the wide range of variables involved.
I once heard that the Eskimo language has over 100 words for the different kinds of snow, and I am beginning to see why.
So far I have observed several things
1. if the temperature of the panels gets to slightly over 32, the panels will clear them self.
2. if the sun can hit the black panel surface, the melting will proceed nicely if the ambient temperatures allow the panel to raise above the 32 degrees, but if it is colder than 20F,even full sun on the panel will not be able to get the panel warm enough.
3. if snow remains on the panel, for a couple of sunny days, the water melting off the panels will saturate the snow bridging the 1" horizontal gap, and can freeze (like an Icicle) and then the ice forms a dam that holds the snow which needs to fully melt before the melting snow above can slide off
4. wet snow that freezes on the panel with the temps staying low will stick strongly to the panel surface, lite fluffy snow will easily blow off the panels.
Summary
The moisture content of the snow, the ambient temperatures as well as full sun or not are all strong variables that will effect the panels clearing.
Possible approaches and considerations:
A mechanical snow sweeper would have to run during the storm to prevent the buildup of snow.
Expecting a sweeper to move 5-12 inches of snow that has frozen to the panel surface would likely stress any reasonable mechanism.

Warming the panels and covering the gaps to allow the snow to slide off on its own may be the best approach. The issue then is how to get the heat to the panels and how to get the heat without it requiring more energy that is lost due to the lost electricity from the PV.

Playing with the real panels on the roof is way too dangerous, so I built a simple test fixture with my two spare panels so I can experiment safely while we are still in the deep of winter.
Changes to the jet stream due to climate change will likely make this type of winter more common, so it is something that needs to be looked at. Ice dams and roof over stressing due to the heavy snow load are also of concern.