As solar photovoltaic (PV) installations have become more common in regions that experience substantialsnowfall, losses in energy production due to snow coverage have grown in concern. Several post-productionsurface coatings have been proposed to enhance snow shedding to reduce these snow related losses. In thispaper, a novel methodology is developed to determine the eﬀectiveness of a snow clearing from a PV moduleand is used to evaluate the snow shedding eﬀectiveness of any module surface treatment. Measured PVoutput is compared to modelled PV output in a generalizable method that allows for the determination of the length of time a panel is covered with snowfall using electrical performance data. This model accountsfor module degredation during long term outdoor testing and other external factors eﬀecting performance,such as persistent soiling losses. This methodology was tested on modules that had one of four hydrodyanmicsurface coatings, as well as one module with a prismatic glass front in order to determine the snow clearingeﬀectiveness of these surfaces as compared to conventional plain glass. The methodology was validated, butthe surface coatings tested did not have an appreciable positive eﬀect on snow clearance, and in some casestended to impede the shedding of snow. The physical mechanisms responsible for the results are discussed.
Andrews, Rob. W., Pollard, Andrew, & Pearce, Joshua M. (2013). A new method to determine the effects of hydrodynamic surface coatings on the snow shedding effectiveness of solar photovoltaic modules. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 113, 71-78. http://digitalcommons.mtu.edu/materials_fp/26