Monday, March 25, 2013

Springtime for Solar Power

Saturday I finally cleared the snow and ice off the solar panels on the roof. We've been away travelling for seven weeks so there was quite an accumulation. Thankfully, it's late enough in the spring that the sun is getting higher and warmer, and once I started uncovering the black panels, the snow and ice on them started to melt.

The solar electrical panels made it to 4 kW - 80% of their theoretical 5 kW output. Sunday was a full sunny day of generation and accumulated about 23 kWh. Considering the best days last summer were around 25 kWh, that's pretty good. One of the advantages of this time of year is that there are no leaves on the trees to shade the panels.

The solar hot water panels were especially iced up and partly in the shade so I wasn't expecting too much from them, but soon after clearing the snow I heard the pump kick in and they reached 60c - impressive considering it was still -7c outside.

It's been a bad winter for solar power - either it was cloudy, or the panels were covered in snow! Hopefully things are looking up now.

[Photos thanks to Shelley]

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