Posts tagged: winter weather

A New Sweeper for the Solar Array

By , February 9, 2020

In the winter, one of the most important chores of the homestead is keeping the solar array free of snow (see Solar “Extraction” and Sweeps Season). To do that, I’ve relied for several years on an extendable pole, with a sponge on one side, and a squeegee on the other.

It has served us well. The squeegee has scraped off all but the hardest ice, which I remove (mostly) with a broken extendible car scraper. The sponge worked surprisingly well to shove snow off the glass.

This last winter, this tool developed problems; the extension portion rusted enough to stick, and often froze, needing to thaw in the shower between jobs. The screw-on head has steadily loosened to the point that I’ve needed to tighten it every 2-3 passes on the panels. When the squeegee began to break, risking scraping the panels with the metal frame, I mentioned to Michelle that we needed a new one.

Sweeping the solar array

Mark uses the old sweeper to clear the solar array last December (Photo: Michelle L. Zeiger).

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Sweeps Season

By , November 16, 2015

Snow has fallen periodically on our homestead since Halloween. Most days it briefly covers the new solar panels, then melts away without needing our help. The night of November 13th we got several inches and a hard freeze. The next morning, I went out to sweep snow off our new array for the first time (see Power Shift: The Plan in Place).

It's a bigger job than it used to be! (Photo: Michelle L. Zeiger.)

It’s a bigger job than it used to be! (Photo: Michelle L. Zeiger.)

Continue reading 'Sweeps Season'»

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