Snow on Solar Panels Blown Off at Night in Hokkaido (2)

2020/02/18 14:17
Shinichi Kato, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Labo
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Continued from Snow on Solar Panels Blown Off at Night in Hokkaido (1)

Operations at night also have an advantage in terms of snow removal efficiency. Snow does not melt because the temperature is low, so powder snow on panels is ideal for "blowing off."

The relation between the state of the snow and operation efficiency was one of the important points that had to be determined by trial and error.

The power producer has an understanding about the operations and does not specify work hours for operation such as requiring that snow must be removed first thing in the morning. Therefore, the company has the freedom to perform operations based on a rough schedule.

Because of this situation, the company originally considered snow removal at night. If the operations could be performed in the daytime, it would be better in terms of health management including sleeping time, compared with operations at night, for which the operator has to get up at night.

However, when snow removal was performed in the daytime, on some days, snow was not blown off smoothly. The snow flew in a heavy way, not scattering smoothly, or only the upper layers were blown off, with snow sometimes sticking on cover glass without being completely removed.

When the snow on solar panels was checked, it had absorbed much water and was frozen on the panel surface or became heavy, which seemed to be the cause of the difficulty in blowing it off.