Ingenious Snow-Proof Solar Panels Can Work in All Weather

Snow accumulation atop solar panels causes energy losses of between 5% and 15% every Winter in northern climates around the world. Keeping solar panels snow-free has been a costly and inefficient proposition — until now. Materials and engineering scientists at the University of Toledo have developed an ingenious solution that's winning awards and satisfying the demand of 150 solar plant operators in their latest pilot tests. The product is a novel strip that's applied to only the lower edge of the panel, which causes the snow to melt without interfering with the absorption of sunlight. It can, in fact, improve the life expectancy of the solar panels. The flexible strip doesn’t require any energy to operate, and the coatings are very durable, strongly adhering to the cells. Super easy to install, the job can be done by unskilled labor with no training. The company isn’t providing technical specs because of ongoing competition in the field, but so far no known failure mode has been identified over several winters of rigorous durability tests conducted by a solar testing laboratory. It’s estimated that they will reach a production rate of one million strip coatings by the end of 2024.