1. bookVolume 116 (2019): Issue 7 (July 2019)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2353-737X
First Published
20 May 2020
Publication timeframe
1 time per year
Languages
English
Open Access

A Feasibility Study of Photovoltaic Snow Mitigation Systems for Flat Roofs

Published Online: 16 May 2020
Volume & Issue: Volume 116 (2019) - Issue 7 (July 2019)
Page range: 81 - 96
Received: 14 Jun 2019
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2353-737X
First Published
20 May 2020
Publication timeframe
1 time per year
Languages
English
Abstract

A new photovoltaic system combining electrical power production with snow mitigation intends to reduce the snow load on flat roofs. Applying electrical power to PV modules causes heat production on the module surface, allowing the ablation of snow. This study combines measurements and theoretical analysis to investigate which conditions are favourable for snow load reduction and discusses the system’s feasibility to perform a controlled snow load reduction in a heavy snow load scenario for buildings with flat roofs. Both melting and sublimating of snow are investigated as means to reduce the load. The results show that the potential for load reduction is highly dependent upon weather conditions and snowpack characteristics during system operation. The refreezing of meltwater and water saturation of snow are identified as phenomena potentially preventing sufficient load reduction in cold conditions. Due to such temperature sensitivity, the system is likely to be more suitable for warm climates occasionally experiencing heavy snow loads than for climates with long and cold winters.

Keywords

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