Colorado-based start-up NextStep Electric Inc. has launched a new product for melting snow off solar panels.
In partnership with STEP Heat, the company has introduced the PanelWarmer, which is UL-certified and can be operated by hand or with a thermal trigger.
NextStep says recent tests have shown the product is capable of melting five pounds of ice per foot in just under three hours. At full capacity, the PanelWarmer, which does not need a battery, uses approximately 150 W/hour at 80 degrees F.
According to the company, the product, compared to traditional methods, can provide a safer and more efficient method of removing snow, as solar panels can be susceptible to breakage from snow rakes and other tools.