Brench, B. L.
In general, snow covering a photovoltaic panel causes negligible energy loss when the snow is light and melts easily; however, a more serious loss can occur when the snow is heavy and does not quickly melt or shed. In order to examine the effects of snow cover on the output energy available from photovoltaic modules, a small-scale snow-shedding experiment was conducted during the winter of 1978-79 at the Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah. This site was chosen since it was the planned location for a 100-kWp flat-plate photovoltaic power system. Daily array power output and weather measurements were recorded by a data logger, and time-lapse photographs were taken of the array. The analysis of this data and conclusions concerning the dependence of power loss on type of snow, weather conditions, and panel angle are discussed.