The WeightWatcher from Innos monitors and melts snow to reduce snow load on roofs with solar panel installations.
Commercial buildings built before 1970 have roof dimensions that cannot withstand snowfall of over 150 kg per square metre. Heavy snow load, combined with existing solar panel installations, can weaken roofs and lead to potential collapse. Wet snow must be cleared quickly before it freezes and increases risk even further.
Moreover, as a result of climate change, there are more heavy snowfalls in short periods rather than steady snowfall throughout the winter. This significantly increases roof load on buildings, causing stress on the structures.
The WeightWatcher measures the weight of the snow on solar panels and compares it to the defined maximum load. The built-in snow weight monitor triggers an alarm when the load exceeds the defined limit, and energy from the solar panels is used to melt the snow. Water from the melted snow drains out through the gutters. Solar panels that have been cleared of snow, will start to produce energy by early spring, compensating for the power used for snow melting.
Using the WeightWatcher, snow can be melted faster than the maximum snowfall rate.
The WeightWatcher helps to reduce the cost of snow removal by using energy from the solar panels themselves and eliminating the need for manpower and snow removal equipment.
The solution also prevents potential damage to the roof from shovels or snowblowers. There are no safety risks for people and buildings while snow clearing is in progress.
Use of the WeightWatcher makes it possible to install solar panels on old, weak roofs as well.
Moreover, the return on investment is generated from early spring onwards as the solar panels start producing energy.
The WeightWatcher has a strong market penetration in Norway, and Innos is seeking to expand to markets abroad. The solution is suitable for commercial buildings in any country with harsh winters and heavy snowfall.
3. Good health and well-being
Snow on roofs is melted automatically, reducing the risk of accidents.
6. Clean water and sanitation
Melted, contaminated snow is collected in a controlled drainage system.
7. Affordable and clean energy
The WeightWatcher promotes use of solar panels by making snow clearing less cumbersome, and enables panels to start generating clean energy earlier in the spring.
11. Sustainable cities and communities
The WeightWatcher helps to reduce the risks to buildings and inhabitants from heavy snowfall.