General Information
    • ISSN: 1793-821X
    • Frequency: Quarterly (2013-2014); Bimonthly (Since 2015)
    • DOI: 10.18178/JOCET
    • Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Haider F. Abdul Amir
    • Executive Editor: Ms. Julia S. Ma
    • Abstracting/ Indexing: EI (INSPEC, IET), Electronic Journals Library, Chemical Abstracts Services (CAS), Ulrich's Periodicals Directory, Google Scholar, ProQuest and DOAJ.
    • E-mail: jocet@ejournal.net
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Editor-in-chief
School of Science and Technology Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Malaysia.
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JOCET 2015 Vol.3(5): 393-397 ISSN: 1793-821X
DOI: 10.7763/JOCET.2015.V3.230

A Low Cost Method of Snow Detection on Solar Panels and Sending Alerts

Seyedali Meghdadi and Tariq Iqbal
Abstract—Photovoltaic systems are often installed in climates with considerable amount of snowfall and freezing rain in winter. It has been observed that the snow accumulation on a solar panel affects its performance and decreases the energy output. Snow on solar panels should be cleared as soon as possible to generate the maximum power. A low cost method of snow detection on solar panels found on field tests is proposed in this paper. The designed system is based on a low cost open-source Arduino Uno microcontroller that measures voltage and current output of a solar panel, and output of a LDR representing the irradiance. Arduino is also connected to a WIFI network and can send messages over the internet. Based on the sensors data, an algorithm is designed to accurately detect snow on solar panels and notify the owner via twitter about the current status. The designed low cost and very low power system has been tested in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada (47°34'28.9"N 52°44'07.8"W) for three months of winter 2014. This paper presents details of the designed low cost alert system, algorithm and its performance results.

Index Terms—Snow detection, Arduino application, melting performance, solar energy, renewable energy.

The authors are with Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada (e-mail: s.meghdadi@mun.ca, tariq@mun.ca).

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Cite:Seyedali Meghdadi and Tariq Iqbal, "A Low Cost Method of Snow Detection on Solar Panels and Sending Alerts," Journal of Clean Energy Technologies vol. 3, no. 5, pp. 393-397, 2015.

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