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New Solar Tiles could melt snow

Discussion in 'Tesla Energy' started by Ludus, Oct 28, 2016.

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  1. Ludus

    Ludus Member

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    Elon Tweeted:


    2h2 hours ago
    Elon Musk ‏@elonmusk
    Solar glass tiles can also incorporate heating elements, like rear defroster on a car, to clear roof of snow and keep generating energy

    ... and responded to a question that yes they could do this efficiently for significant net gains.

    This is another interesting feature.

    The first question that occurs to me though is could they then be used on the roof of the factory nearing completion near Buffalo NY? I think currently there are no plans to put PV on the roof of the gigafactory that makes the panels and tiles.

    It did seem a shame that such a high profile use as the big flat roof of that plant wasn't going to be covered with PV cells as is intended with the Nevada battery gigafactory.

    It's understandable that Buffalo has extraordinary snowfall from the lake effect but hey that's just an engineering challenge and if it can be solved in Buffalo it can be solved in most snowy places.
     
  2. maxell2hd

    maxell2hd Member

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    Snow storm in Buffalo with cold temperatures with a flat roof? The solution is to let temperatures warm up and melt it, or push it off. Trying to melt it takes too much energy.
     
  3. Ludus

    Ludus Member

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    Angled Panels on racks that are coated let the snow slide off, embedded grids as mentioned to back up, maybe robot snow pushers to keep it from building up too deep around the racks.

    If they can make it work in Buffalo it would be statement.
     
  4. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    Snow may not be a reason to avoid PV, but extended cloud cover sure is.
     
  5. larmor

    larmor Active Member

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    I grew up in upstate NY including time in buffalo. It is very cold in the winter and lake effect snow is the real deal. Lots of people have roof issues that materialize when snow accumulates as well.
     
  6. Canuck

    Canuck Well-Known Member

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    Like this...

     
    • Like x 1
  7. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    Doesn't applying current to a semiconductor make it heat up?

    Heating it could be as easy as feedback.
     
  8. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    This is PVwatts for Buffalo per kW at 20 degree incline and 15% derate. The first column shows insolation.

    upload_2016-10-29_21-4-38.png
     
  9. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    Ingenious!

    I must be easily entertained -- I was mesmerized by the cubes of snow rolling down the roof
     
  10. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    Or the less-advisable version:

     
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  11. swaltner

    swaltner Member

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    Visions of that happening to me (but with much more serious consequences) are why my solar panels will go for a week of generating no energy after it snows. After large amounts of snow, it's take as long as 9 days for the snow to melt. My solar panels are mounted on an airplane hangar in the back yard. That means there's a metal roof, which would be really slick with ice/snow/water and there would be a 14' fall to the ground if you slid off. Definitely not with it when you make the risk/reward calculation. The relatively flat roof (3/12 pitch) and 14' walls make it where something like the contraption @Canuck mentioned would not be easy to use.
     
  12. Value Ev

    Value Ev Middle seat belt specialist.

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    It sounds like a nice idea but is that result in a net increase in electricity or is the benefit that it is getting rid of snow on the roof.

    IIRC, snow on the roof also has an insulating effect in particularly cold weather - although it obviously has negative effects of room damage if there is a severe amount of snow on the roof.

    The amount of energy to melt the snow would seems large and after it is melted, you have limited solar energy since it is the winter and if you have overcast or another snow event, seems the electricity used to melt the snow was wasted relative to the benefit.
     

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