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Snow load on solar components

Snow load on thermal collectors and PV modules in alpine regions can lead to damage and insurance claims. Standard procedures for product testing are not enough for a reliable evaluation of the resistance to snow load. The threat of snow load is regionally different and has to be determined based on the valid standards (SIA 261, EN 1991) for each individual location.

Timelapse video of a snow load simulation at the SPF test bench

With the test bench of SPF snow loads of up to 2000 kg/m2 can be simulated on a surface of up to 15 m2. In addition to standard procedures, also drift on inclined surfaces that are a result of snow attached to an iced surface can be simulated. Collectors and PV modules can be built on a dummy roof construction with any kind of mounting system and tested together with its mounting system. Built-in sensors and cameras enable to follow the details of the test run and to determine weak points of the module or of the mounting system.

Certification of snow load resistance

Together with the Swiss Association of Public Insurance Companies for Buildings (APIB) and the SUPSI Swiss PV Module Test Centre we offer a certification scheme that confirms the snow load limits for the application of collectors and PV modules. Thus, suitable products can be chosen based on the particular location and orientation to avoid damage caused by snow load. 

Test conditions (German) 

List of certified products
 

Further information: collectorsnospam@nospam spf.ch

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