Solar in the Snow-belt
“Throughout the solar industry component efficiencies are pursued with laser focus, however many times when photovoltaic systems are installed overall system efficiency is not one of the primary concerns. Photovoltaic systems are often installed in high snow areas with installation practices derived from the US southwest and California with little regard to the winter effects on system output. There has been little data on the effects of snowfall on photovoltaic systems in high snow areas like the Great Lakes region. According to a 2009 study, in northern climates snow has been identified for some locations as a serious loss factor.
Understanding how snow and other weather factors affect system efficiency can promote better region PV system design, lower the installation costs and increase output. “