Solar Panel Snow Removal Technology: A Useful Tool In Reducing Europe's Dependence on Foreign Gas?
With European countries trying to reduce their dependency on foreign natural gas, particularly from Russia, is solar power a realistic alternative?
While hydro and wind are the largest sources of renewable energy in Europe at 37.5% and 32.1% of total renewable energy production, solar has been the fastest-growing renewable energy source in recent years.
Solar energy does have its limitations, however. While a wind turbine or hydroelectric plant can operate relatively well in snowy conditions the same cannot be said for solar panels. As soon as a solar panel is covered in snow energy output is essentially reduced to zero.
Traditional methods of snow removal include manual cleaning or the constant heating of the panel until all snow has melted away. Both these methods are flawed as the manual method involves considerable time and manpower, especially in the case of large-scale solar farms, while the heating method results in a significant loss of energy output.
It can be argued that this has been the reason that most of northern Europe has lagged behind countries like Italy, Spain or France when in comes to solar power production.
We at Blizzard Solar believe we can change that with our Autonomous Winter Solar Panel (AWSP). The AWSP is a solar panel cleaning device specifically designed to remove snow and ice. The AWSP works by autonomously detecting the presence of snow or ice and removing it using a very minimal amount of energy. The removal method involves a slight melting of snow to generate a thin layer of water followed by a gentle vibration to encourage the snow to slide off of the panel.
The technology has the ability drastically increase solar power production in northern Europe and help Europe as a whole reduce its dependency on Russian natural gas, especially throughout the winter months.