So we had a nice snowpocalypse this weekend – about 17″ of snow in 24 hours. It covered up the solar panels pretty well, but thanks to a long pole and a squeegee, I knocked quite a lot off, as you can see above.* How are we doing for power output now?
One thing about solar PV; shading kills output, but as you can see I’ve still got decent performance:
Shading a whole row of cells on a panel pretty much kills all production for that panel. And, in a traditional string of panels with a single inverter, the entire array of panels drops to the output of the lowest panel. However, I have a setup with micro-inverters, with 1 inverter under each panel, so that they can operate independently.
This is a really good thing; rather than each panel being at about 1W, the clear ones are sailing along while the snow-covered ones are still limping. It’s a sunny day, so hopefully they’ll pick up a little heat and the snow will start sliding off. It’s -3F (-20C) so it’ll be an uphill battle to melt the snow!
You can keep an eye on how it’s going this week on the public monitoring site.
* I could only reach the lowest row with my 23′ pole, but the left array came tumbling down in an avalanche. It was quite impressive!