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Removing snow load on roofs using solar power

The WeightWatcher from Innos monitors and melts snow to reduce snow load on roofs with solar panel installations.

Commercial buildings built before 1970 have roof dimensions that cannot withstand snowfall of over 150 kg per square metre. Heavy snow load, combined with existing solar panel installations, can weaken roofs and lead to potential collapse. Wet snow must be cleared quickly before it freezes and increases risk even further.

Moreover, as a result of climate change, there are more heavy snowfalls in short periods rather than steady snowfall throughout the winter. This significantly increases roof load on buildings, causing stress on the structures.

Smart rooftop solar systems

The WeightWatcher measures the weight of the snow on solar panels and compares it to the defined maximum load. The built-in snow weight monitor triggers an alarm when the load exceeds the defined limit, and energy from the solar panels is used to melt the snow. Water from the melted snow drains out through the gutters. Solar panels that have been cleared of snow, will start to produce energy by early spring, compensating for the power used for snow melting.

Using the WeightWatcher, snow can be melted faster than the maximum snowfall rate.

Concrete benefits

The WeightWatcher helps to reduce the cost of snow removal by using energy from the solar panels themselves and eliminating the need for manpower and snow removal equipment.

The solution also prevents potential damage to the roof from shovels or snowblowers. There are no safety risks for people and buildings while snow clearing is in progress.

Use of the WeightWatcher makes it possible to install solar panels on old, weak roofs as well.

Moreover, the return on investment is generated from early spring onwards as the solar panels start producing energy.

Market potential

The WeightWatcher has a strong market penetration in Norway, and Innos is seeking to expand to markets abroad. The solution is suitable for commercial buildings in any country with harsh winters and heavy snowfall.

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Company

Innos AS

Karoline Kristiansens vei 1H, NO-0661 Oslo, Norway

+47 959 27 203
innos.no

At a glance

  • Built-in snow weight monitor for solar panels

  • Energy from the solar panels melts accumulated snow

  • Reduces costs and risks of manual snow removal

Status

Available

Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals