New Solar Panel Mount Prevents Snow Accumulation

2014/03/11 15:34
Shinichi Kato, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute

Kyowa Co Ltd announced the "Snow Turn 90" mounting system for solar power generation in snowy regions.

The mounting system enables a single worker to easily change the angle of solar panels in a continuously variable way by hand. Kyowa is an industrial tool maker based in Ugo-machi, Ogachi-gun, Akita Prefecture, Japan.

In snowy regions, if snow accumulates in winter and covers solar panels, power generation becomes impossible. However, with the new mounting system, it becomes possible to prevent snow from accumulating on panels by making the panels perpendicular to the ground and letting snow fall off.

Also, because the angle of solar panels is continuously variable, the amount of power generated can be increased by making solar panels face the sun or light reflected from snow.

There have already been mounting systems that enable to change the angle of solar panels. But many of them do not allow to change angle in a continuously variable way and require a large amount of effort, making it difficult to change angle frequently.

According to Kyowa, the new mounting system was first employed for a new government office building being constructed on the property of the city hall of Yuzawa City in Akita Prefecture. It was installed on the roof of the hall in December 2013. The hall is scheduled to open in April 2014.

The new mounting system comes in two models: one can be installed on the rooftops of buildings, residential gardens, etc while the other can be mounted on perpendicular walls. Both of the models support solar panels of any manufacturer. The prices of the former and latter models start from ¥1 million (approx US$9,681) and ¥200,000 (excluding tax) per unit, respectively.