Seattle got a little snow early this morning, about an inch at my house. I always love a good snow day. Every thing looks so bright and clean! Here's the view out my bedroom window in the late morning:
The downside of all that bright snow is that my solar panels get very little light. Since the temperature stayed below freezing all day there wasn't much of a chance for the snow to melt. Below is a view of my panels from the street early in the afternoon. While my neighbor's roof is mostly clear (probably sheltered from the snow by the trees to the north) my panels are still covered.
As I walked around the neighborhood, though, I discovered that some homes had clear panels! It seems that south-facing panels have another advantage over those facing east or west (like mine): even on a cold day there's enough sun exposure to melt the snow on top of them.
My posts aren't complete without at least one graph, so here's one showing my production for the day. Output only broke above 75 watts briefly in the late morning and I had only 94 watt-hours of production for the whole day.
This makes me wonder: could in-panel heaters actually be cost effective if used to melt off snow on cold days?
Update 12/2: More snow data here!