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Snow on solar panels? Prep your solar field for winter.

Winter is coming! Are you and your solar fields ready for the winter season? While solar panels output most energy during the sunny summer months, cold temperatures do not generally affect a solar panel's productivity. Below are three simple preventative measures to consider before the season changes.  

  1. Thermal Image Scan and DC Assessment  

When the days are shorter and include cloud cover, it’s hard to identify potential issues in the productivity of a solar field due to lower production. Prior to the winter season, we encourage solar owners to perform a thermographic survey and DC health assessment.  

Conducting a thermal image scan before the cold season can identify defects in a solar panel and identify faults. Imaging can be performed while a system is in operation, so no showdown is required. Thermal image reports can identify loose or failing power connections which can cause fires, extended downtime and equipment loss.  

A DC assessment verifies your solar field is performing as it should. Common issues a DC health assessment identifies are dead modules, blown fuses, failed MC4 connectors and shading.  

  1. Pest Control  

As the cold moves in, pests are looking for a warm home for the winter, and what better place to call home than a warm equipment box. We encourage all solar owners to develop a pest control plan. Some common solutions include properly sealing equipment so mice can’t chew through wires and installing raptor/bird boxes, attracting predatory birds to eat mice.  

  1. Snow Removal  

A little snow on your solar panel is ok for your solar operation. Most snow will slide off panels and clear on its own. But when does it become too much? Creating a strategic snow removal plan can help prevent issues down the road. For example, utilities include specific requirements on what to do after a snowfall regarding snow removal to access the site, which falls under the owner's responsibility. You can view Xcel Energy’s access to solar gardens in Minnesota from November through March.  

You can count on Knobelsdorff Energy's O&M team of highly skilled technicians to help you manage your solar fields throughout the winter and year-round. We offer remote monitoring, planned maintenance, system testing, equipment repairs, upgrades, and everything in between. Our customers receive 24/7/365 support, providing solutions to protect your assets throughout their life. We have the team, tools and equipment necessary to tackle any challenges you face. Our O&M services allow our customers to maximize their ROI. We can accurately diagnose issues affecting the productivity of your system and at the same time, resolve any issues with a fully customized report. 

  • Maintenance Programs 
  • Corrective Maintenance 
  • Warranty Management 
  • Consulting Services 
  • System Performance, Monitoring and Reporting 
  • Warehouse Capabilities 
  • Electrical Testing 
  • Thermal Imaging 
  • Ancillary Services 

If you are an owner looking for assistance with maintaining your solar operation, contact Knobelsdorff today.  

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