Solar “Extraction”

In winter, we spend a lot of time keeping the solar panels free of snow and ice. Sometimes, like recently, rapid snowfall makes it a fruitless task. By the time we sweep the bottom of the array, the top panels are already half covered with new snow. If it’s heavily overcast, we just leave it alone till later.

But, when the sun comes out briefly, particularly at the moment when the brief winter sun falls directly on the panels as it did on Thursday, it’s time to clear them off as soon as possible. Even if it means excavating the panels from under two feet of snow.

snow covered solar panels

I'm pretty sure I left some solar panels somewhere near here . . . (Photo: Mark Zeiger).

We had plenty of wind at the time, and the wind mill generates a lot more power than the solar panels can, but once I’d dug out the array I could brake the wind generator, and let the solar trickle charge the batteries to maximum full, a good practice to gain maximum charge with less wear and tear on the batteries.

solar panels dug out of the snow

I thought so! (Photo: Mark Zeiger.)

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