Snow and Solar in Rochester, New York
Snow and Solar in Rochester, New York, as pictured above on this home, can be a challenge if not designed properly. As you can see, there is a visible solar array to the left that has no snow on it due to the 8/12 roof pitch.
Above, on the main roof is another array which is covered by snow, and is the same size as the first array. The roof pitch is 3/12, so the snow is still on those solar panels. While you might think this is a bad idea, think again. Angle not only plays an important role in keeping the snow off, it also plays an important role in production and power output. The top array actually produces more power in the summer months when it’s typically sunny than the 8/12 pitched array as the angle of the sun is more directly on the 3/12 pitch.
In the case of this homeowner, their system will produce lots of energy in the winter, and even more energy in the summer due to the longer hours of sunlight. This split system has worked well for many homeowners in our area, and a way to combat the snow that we see in Western New York!
We have one customer that has been living in Central New York with solar on her home since the 1980′s and has no utility electric power, and only solar PV. Even with our clouds, even with our snow, and even with her older technology solar panels and inverters, her equipment continues to perform and provide her home with renewable electric power!!
These are AC solar panels and work independent of each other.
This is very typical for a Rochester, New York winter, and solar panels in Rochester, New York will have snow on them. We always tell our customers that the amount of sun hours in the winter months is so little that the loss is not as much as you would think, so no worries. The most productive times for your solar electric system for our area is between April – August, and this will usually make up for the little losses that you will see with snow on the solar panels.