Our engineering stars have aligned with the brightest star of all, the sun! Alpine SnowGuards has developed a snow guard calculator especially for solar installers. As manufacturers of the only solar snow management system on the market, it was only a matter of time. And that time is happily now!
If you or your customers live in snow country and you have, or are in process of installing, rooftop solar panels, then read on.
A Calculator for Solar Installers
Clients of ours will be familiar with our original solar quantity estimator. It was a formula-based spreadsheet that was reliable in the short term. What really brought it to life was our customer service team, always at the ready with their technical expertise. That will not change. What will change is this: the ability for you to calculate snow guard quantities for solar panels, using a more interactive and user-friendly tool. Much more.
How to Use the Solar Snow Guard Calculator
Designed by our developers, Alpine’s Solar Snow Guard Calculator was refined by our engineering and customer service teams. Here’s how to use it:
- Enter project details including roof type, location and solar panel dimensions
- Graphically build your array with control over number of panels and panel orientation
- Receive a full BOM with the ability to customize individual product quantities or opt out of system components
- Place your order online and receive personalized follow up from a member of our customer service team
Why Do Roof Top Panels Need Snow Guards?
There is a lot of confusion on this topic and some of it relates to semantics. Our industry has long referred to snow guards as “snow retention” devices which means to hold snow in place. Holding snow on solar panels, when we want to capture all the power we can, seems counter intuitive. So much so, that it’s become easy to dismiss solar snow guards altogether. Still, others aren’t aware that there is a solution to avalanching snow off their rooftop solar panels.
Solar Panel Shade Analysis
To help alleviate our client’s concerns, Alpine conducted extensive shade analysis testing on solar panels. We firmly believe the benefit of managing snow significantly outweighs the minimal shade factor.
Snow Management is Essential for Safety
Snow and ice can avalanche off sloped roofs, posing a hazard to people and property below the eave. Our products hold the snow and ice in position on the roof, allowing it to melt and shed gradually, instead of all at once, preventing injuries to pedestrians and property damage.
Snow Behavior on Solar Panels
The majority of residential solar arrays are installed on asphalt shingle roofing. Asphalt shingled roofs tend to do a better, not a total avalanche-free, job at managing the release of snow. When you add a solar array over the top of an asphalt shingle roof, avalanching snow is often totally unexpected. The glassy surface of the array changes the dynamic of the roof making it a slippery surface that sheds snow more freely. In order to prevent dangerous avalanching, solar snow guards do what they are engineered to do: manage the release of snow in small, safe amounts to protect people and property.
Solar Installer’s Responsibility
It’s the responsibility of the solar installer to plan new installations, while allowing for a roof landing zone and a roof-mounted snow management system to be supplemented by array-mounted devices. For existing arrays that do not have a landing zone, the installer should either remove panels to allow for the landing zone, or understand that the array-mounted snow guards alone are limited in height, and are therefore, also limited in function.
Alpine recommends homeowners reach out directly to their solar installer to start a quote via our Solar Snow Guard Calculator. Installation of our products by solar installers can protect the performance, safety and warranty of the solar array.
Stay on the Sunny Side
We are excited to see the wave of rising solar panel installations! For those living or working in snow country, we’re equally thrilled to bring to market a Solar Snow Guard Calculator.
We hope this information helps solar installers make decisions to better manage snow while helping their customers enjoy the benefits of solar power!
Ready to get started? Sign up for the Solar Snow Guard Calculator now.
Questions? We’re here to help!
We keep snow in its place
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Alpine SnowGuards designs, engineers, and manufactures snow management systems from our facilities in Morrisville, VT. We work closely with leading roofing contractors, engineering firms, developers, and roofing manufacturers to ensure we deliver quality products that do what we say they’ll do. Alpine SnowGuards can help a building qualify for LEED® credits.