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Modelled and Observed Operation of a Passive Melting Technology for Photovoltaic Arrays

Michael M.D. Ross and Eric P. Usher
CANMET Energy Diversification Research Laboratory

Full Text of Article
Link to CETC-Varennes

Note on Authorship:

This article was co-authored by the principal of RER Renewable Energy Research when he was an employee of the CEDRL (now known as CETC-Varennes).


Funding for this project was provided by CETC-Varennes through the Panel on Energy Research and Development (PERD), Canada's Green Plan, and the Science Institute of the Northwest Territories (SINT) as part of the joint NRCan/SINT "PV for the North" programme.


Ross, M. M. D, and E. P. Usher. "Modelled and Observed Operation of a Passive Melting Technology for Photovoltaic Arrays". Proceedings of the 7th International Workshop on Atmospheric Icing of Structures, Saguenay/Lac-St-Jean, Québec, Canada: June 3-6, 1996, pp. 245-250.


Photovoltaic (PV) systems utilize solar energy to generate electricity by a direct conversion process. Under certain conditions, snow and ice accumulate on PV panels, which can result in system failure. To address this problem, a passive snow and ice removal technology has been developed by TN Conseil, working in conjunction with the Energy Diversification Research Laboratory (EDRL) and the Institut de recherche d'Hydro-Québec (IREQ). This paper introduces the problem of snow and ice accumulation on PV panels, describes the solution proposed by TN Conseil, and presents results from outdoor testing and mathematical modelling of the technology.