New Snow-Shedding Coatings Applied to Alaska Solar Panels

New Snow-Shedding Coatings Applied to Alaska Solar Panels

It is winter again in Alaska, and the snow is falling, which means that solar panels may not be generating as much power as usual. Or, does it?

Over the past week, ACEP researchers Chris Pike, Erin Whitney and Michelle Wilber helped prepare and apply a new round of coatings on a section of the Renewable IPP Willow solar array. Building on preliminary results from last winter, these coatings will be tested for their snow-shedding properties as part of a U.S. Department of Energy project with Sandia National Laboratories, Michigan Technological University and the University of Michigan

The project aims to increase the performance and resilience of solar photovoltaic systems in U.S. regions that regularly experience below-freezing precipitation. This could aid in the adoption, integration and optimal operation of the nation’s solar resources. 

ACEP is grateful for its partnership with Renewable IPP and assistance from the UAA Department of Chemistry on this project. 

More information about the project can be found on ACEP's Solar Technologies Program page and at /media/273416/Sandia_Snow-Photovoltaic-Performance.pdf.


Erin Whitney applies a snow-shedding coating to a solar panel at the Renewable IPP solar farm near Willow. Photo by Chris Pike.