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 21 
 on: July 09, 2019, 01:31:22 13:31 
Started by zac - Last post by zac
Keep in mind that each panel weighs about 40 pounds.  I'm not very keen on using the panels as heating elements since there may be hot spots that could cause damage.  I'm planning to use ironridge XR1000 (or XR100) rails for the replacement.   Passing a PEX pipe through the middle seems like reasonable option and there would be 3 or 4 of the rails under each solar panel.  The larger XR1000 could easily fit a 5/8" PEX pipe (0.75" O.D.) and the smaller XR100 maybe a 1/2" pipe.  I wounder how hard it would be to thread a pipe through those extrusions.    

https://www.ironridge.com/pitched-roof-mounting/features/


 22 
 on: July 09, 2019, 12:05:52 12:05 
Started by zac - Last post by CocaCola
Bring them down to vertical for bad weather (as I said, they'll still make some power when vertical) and cleaning.

On that topic, during the winter months the sun's arch is much lower in the sky, raising the panels more verticle during the winter will increase their production over the very low angle you have now, and should be done regardless of snow build up if you want to optimize the system...

This website has a quick calculator http://www.solarelectricityhandbook.com/solar-angle-calculator.html

For my area it specs 24 degrees from verticle or about 66 degrees from horizontal, that angle alone should self remove most snow build up...

 23 
 on: July 09, 2019, 07:13:32 07:13 
Started by zac - Last post by solutions
Put the panels on an overhead garage door track with a counterweight so they position where they are or slide down to vertical at the ground, or slightly above, level.

Bring them down to vertical for bad weather (as I said, they'll still make some power when vertical) and cleaning.

 24 
 on: July 07, 2019, 12:48:11 12:48 
Started by zac - Last post by zac
Thinking waaay out of the box - tilt the panels to 60-90degrees during snow season. You're going to lose power heating them, anyway, and mono will make power even if vertical.

This is the array before it was damaged last winter:



That is an interesting idea to tilt the panels, but wouldn't be practical for my situation. Aside from the difficulty with climbing on the roof to do that, snow would be trapped behind the panels and cause a problem.  

 25 
 on: July 07, 2019, 12:44:25 12:44 
Started by zac - Last post by rtm
There is a crazy idea. Why not use an ultrasonic device? Do you know that melting by an ultrasonic wave takes 32 times less energy than melting by heat?

Look to this video about an ultrasonic snowmelter:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_qvv8Yhe9Y

There is an article on an ultrasonic system for solar panel cleaning:
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/256549072_Ultrasonic_system_for_solar_panel_cleaning

 26 
 on: July 07, 2019, 05:13:01 05:13 
Started by Eleckyle - Last post by Eleckyle
CountrySri Lanka
Sitewww.kyleelec.com
NoteArduino matrix controller.

 27 
 on: July 07, 2019, 04:32:58 04:32 
Started by Mime38 - Last post by Mime38
CountryFrance
NoteElectronics is both my job and a hobbie. I mainly use Pic at work and arduino as a hobby.
In addition I practice railway modelism with all the electronics that it brings. I am also a member of a makerspace in which we designed a 3d printer that I built for the home.

 28 
 on: July 07, 2019, 12:35:25 00:35 
Started by zac - Last post by solutions
The array is about 20 degrees from the horizontal and are mono cells. 

Thinking waaay out of the box - tilt the panels to 60-90degrees during snow season. You're going to lose power heating them, anyway, and mono will make power even if vertical.

 29 
 on: July 06, 2019, 12:16:08 00:16 
Started by zac - Last post by CocaCola
So far, the most practical cost effective choice appears to be putting uv-stabilized pex pipe underneath the panels and circulating hot water through them to heat the panels when snow is imminent or falling.  I would probably go with a proplylene glycol solution in that case.

I would have to come up with a way to automatically turn on the heater and pump when I'm not home though based on forecast or falling snow. 

On that thought, and thinking out of the box my stepfather who loves to tinker built himself two 4 foot by 8 foot fixed position solar hot water collectors, I don't know where he got the plans but they were similar to this design ( https://www.instructables.com/id/Solar-Water-Heater-Part-1-The-Collector/ ) but he took it a step further and using a hole saw cut out the bottoms of a few hundred soda cans into disc, slide them over the pipe turning the copper pipe into a DIY fin tube, and instead of glass he just used a 4x8 Lexan greenhouse panel for the front...  Anyway inside he also built a highly insulated 4 foot square plywood box, and they stuffed that box with multiple coils of PEX tubing and more insulation to act as a holding tank... I think he told me the capacity is several hundreds of gallons of hot water stored it the coils of pex tubing...  I don't have much input on the automated cycle on/of system he used to move the hot water from the outside to the inside (the collectors will boil water even in the winter, so it has to constantly move and I would guess have a pressure blow of safety feature) but I know he found a DIY article on moving the water around using some real small pumps 12V that he also runs by solar...  Anyway, he runs that water through radiators in the house and it's stupid amazing how much heat he gets off them even in the dead of winter, he had plans to integrate the system to heat hot water for showers as well but I don't know if he got that far...  Using the same type of hot water solar collectors you could likely build a pretty darn efficient hot liquid system to defrost the regular solar panels, worst case you may have to supplement the heating of the water sometimes if the capacity of your holding tank isn't enough...

The nice thing about using solar heated water is that you are not paying to heat the water, just a little bit to circulate it...  Plenty of wifi enabled switches on the market that could allow you to remotely turn on/off the pump with ease...

 30 
 on: July 05, 2019, 04:48:44 16:48 
Started by monk85 - Last post by monk85
CountryBulgaria
NoteEmbedded development - PIC (PIC18 & PIC32) and ARM (STM32) for Power Electronics (Renewable Systems).
I am looking for company and place to ask questions and give ideas on projects I work on.
Both Hobby and a Job

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