If a solar install project you’re working on or have completed requires a snow management solution, you’ll want to read this. And if you’re in New England, like us, you woke up to a TON of snow this morning, so this is as great a time as any to talk about snow on solar. We had 30” this morning when I left, and it’s still snowing (that’s my poor car below, just before I cleaned her off and moved her into the garage last night).
Anyway, back to the story. We’re excited to now have a Solar Snow Management Application Chart available on the Alpine SnowGuards website that will help you determine what your array will need based on factors like the ground snow load in your area, the size of your modules, the size of the array, the orientation in which the solar array is installed, as well as the slope of your roof.
All of these factors play an important role in managing solar snow. So, let’s get to the root of the issue…. How does a solavalanche occur in the first place? Well, the snow that would’ve accumulated on your roofing material has now accumulated on your solar panels – which, as you know, are fabricated from glass. And it goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway: glass is frictionless. The melting snow on your panels actually acts as a lubricant between the snow mass and the panel surface, resulting in the perfect scenario to allow that snow mass to come barreling off your roof.
For just shy of 5 years now, Alpine SnowGuards and our sister company, EcoFasten Solar, have been engaged in solar snow management research and development. Alpine SnowGuards has been the industry leader in rooftop snow management for over 20 years, and our solar snow management line of products were the very first frame-mounted solutions available.
The final designs were engineered specifically to provide a super low-profile to minimize shading. Because the majority of panels don’t generate electricity along the edges, the shading effect is extremely minor.
The solar snow management options we have available have been being used more widely than ever in the solar industry – by small installation companies, as well as by the top installers in the country. Mitigating the risk of a roof avalanche, or in this case, a Solavalanche (I made that up, but I like it), is something that shouldn’t be overlooked.
With that said, take a look at our all new Solar Snow Management Application Chart, a straightforward tool that will ensure you see the overall picture that will help you determine the needs of your project.
Once you’ve looked over the chart, you’re now ready to look at the options!
Solar SnowMax-R2 is a fence-style system that we designed specifically for the eave-edge of the array. Fabricated from aircraft grade aluminum, the 2” bar on the front of the system is the largest fence option available, and was developed for clients who requires a higher fence at the eaves. The taller bar system is a proven solution that’s been used in the conventional snow guard market for over 20 years. The system is made in the USA and features a groove along the front that accepts an optional black color insert strip to match black-framed modules.See below for your up-slope options, which are used for additional tiers of snow management. Check out this installation video & see how easy it is to install!
Used on the up-slope portions of an array, the Solar SnowMax-Standard is also fabricated from aircraft grade aluminum, clamps directly to the module frame, and can be used on portrait or landscape array layouts. The 1” bar provides additional tiers to facilitate the management of the snow load, and allows the snow and ice to drop off in small amounts or allow snow and ice to melt completely before falling to the ground. We have an install video for the Standard, too – you can watch it here.
Solar Snow Pads
The 3” block with T-Nut on the Solar Snow Pad is meant to be installed in the horizontal joints between modules. This is a pad-style snow guard that can also be used as an up-slope options where additional tiers of snow management are required or desired.
The coolest thing about our Solar Snow Pads is that they were designed to also accept 3/8” stainless steel rods, which, when installed, results in a hybrid solar/pad/pipe style snow management system. You can even have the Solar Snow Pads powder coated using RAL TIGER Drylac® Exterior colors.
You guessed it, we have an installation video for Solar Snow Pad!
We’re confident the Solar Snow Management Application Chart will be a helpful tool in determining the snow management needs of your solar array.
For more information, feel free to contact us any time at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by giving us a call at 888-766-4273. You can also visit our websites at www.alpinesnowguards.com to see all of our snow management systems (over 60, not including the many CUSTOM systems we engineer for our clients throughout the year. Our rugged systems span all roof types, new or retrofit.
We look forward to hearing from you, and most of all, we look forward to solving a big problem by helping you avoid those solavalanche blues.
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.