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Winter Weather and Renewable Energy Installation

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Jane Marsh's picture

Jane Marsh is the Editor-in-Chief of She covers topics related to climate policy, sustainability, renewable energy and more.

  • Member since 2020
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  • Mar 26, 2021

The market for renewable energy increased with the rise in global environmental consciousness. More residential and commercial buildings are installing solar panels and wind turbines every year. To meet this heightened demand, renewable energy installers must learn to work in varying climates.

Clients tend to call on renewable energy installation companies for summer projects. But working through the heat is typically a less efficient way for workers to get the job done quickly. This scheduling occurrence is due to the misunderstanding that workers cannot install renewable energy systems in cold weather.

With appropriate training and knowledge, workers can maximize winter installations. They can efficiently set up wind turbines, solar panels, and geothermal systems even in freezing temperatures.

Wind Turbines

Recent freezing temperatures in Texas led scientists to reevaluate the effect of ice and snow on wind turbines. Some of these renewable energy systems failed with the weather shift due to inadequate installation. After proper construction, turbines can maintain efficiency in all climates.

When installing wind energy systems in cold temperatures, include a cold-weather package. This feature is a small heating structure that keeps essential components of the turbine from freezing. Wind energy systems can operate in temperatures down to -22°F after installing the package.

You can also install an atmospheric thermometer to prevent the icing of turbine blades. Ice adds weight to wind turbines, increasing the risk of instability. The added feature can read temperatures at the top of the structure to activate dethawing when necessary. It can reduce maintenance and maximize power production and profitability.

Ensure a good base surface by utilizing a concrete blanket during installation in freezing months. The covering adds insulation in the concrete pouring area, allowing it to cure properly.

When one incorporates these features in turbine production, winter installation is possible.

Solar Panels

Solar panel installation has increased in recent years due to price reductions. To ensure renewable energy companies meet this demand, their workers must learn to mount panels in colder months.

Installers can utilize frames when placing panels on roofs. Framing allows for the weight of snow to be distributed on the structures' exterior rather than in one localized stress point. Frames minimize damage to panels when installed in snowy regions.

Mounting panels in cooler months can maximize their efficiency. As snow covers panels and melts off, it clears off dirt and debris. Clean panels can absorb sunlight effectively to generate the greatest amount of energy possible.

With the proper equipment and protection, workers can install solar systems promptly in the winter. Warmer months require installers to take frequent breaks for energy conservation and protection. Black-colored roofs pose a risk to workers' health in extreme heat, so cold weather installations can be safer on that front.

Geothermal Systems

When installing geothermal energy systems, you must first assess the landscape and understand the composition of the ground. If the ground is frozen, you will need to thaw it before digging. To warm the property, installers will need to place space heaters or blankets in the area.

Heaters can allow for cost-effective and timely construction. Some projects will extend beyond a single building. Neighborhoods and apartment complexes purchase larger geothermal systems to decrease the cost and maximize the effects. In this case, workers will need enough heaters to cover the entire drilling region.

Worker Safety

Although you can install most renewable energy systems in the winter, and some employees prefer to work in the cold, it is essential to prioritize worker safety. Wind, solar, and geothermal systems can adequately function in freezing temperatures, but installers cannot. Without adequate clothing and equipment, workers can face frostbite and other health risks.

A person’s metabolic rate rises when their body gets cold. This is due to an increase in energy expenditure to keep the body warm. Shivering also increases your caloric energy outflow. To maximize your body's efficiency and safety, workers should increase the calories they consume while installing renewable energy systems in the winter.

Utilizing thermal clothing layers, insulated gloves, and pocket warmers can also increase worker safety on the job. When installers are warm, comfortable, and nourished, they can perform flawless system installations.


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