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Mitigating Snow on Rooftop PV Systems for Higher Energy Yield and Safer Roofs
B.B. Aarseth, M.B. Øgaard, J. Zhu, T. Strömberg, J.A. Tsanakas, J.H. Selj, E.S. Marstein
PV System, Rooftop, Safety, Snow
PV Systems - Performance, Applications and Integration
Subtopic: Design and Installation of PV Systems
Event: 35th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 6CO.3.5
1630 - 1635
ISBN: 3-936338-50-7
Paper DOI: 10.4229/35thEUPVSEC20182018-6CO.3.5
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper


This study investigates the potential and technical limitations of applying a controlled forward bias on photovoltaic (PV) modules for snow mitigation on building-applied photovoltaic (BAPV) systems installed in regions with substantial snowfalls. Mitigating snow on BAPV systems has a twofold purpose: to reduce the mechanical stress on the PV modules and the building structure itself, as well as to limit shading and thus increase the overall PV energy yield in the winter months. The technology is tested in both a climate chamber and under field conditions in an operating, commercial rooftop PV system covered with snow in Oslo, Norway. Payback time calculations for the snow mitigation is done both in terms of energy and economy, with the latter taking the national power tax into account. Both in the climate chamber and initial full-scale rooftop PV system tests, the system was successfully demonstrated. Energy calculations show that there is large potential for optimization of the snow mitigation process to boost the PV system’s energy yield in the spring. Hence, active snow mitigation can be a beneficial solution not only for necessary snow mitigation, but also for boosting the yield of PV systems.