"Thanks again for all your advice. I think I have plenty to go on so I will be leaving this thread. I probably will try some solutions on the panels with a drone to fly a deicer or chemical to melt off snow quickly. Obviously, I have to wait till…"
"$1350 isn't out of the question if it works well. I would only fly the thing in low wind and stable, albeit very cold conditions so I wouldn't expect any huge problems. If I wreck a drone after a year due to some equipment failure (or my failure),…"
"That is friggin' good idea David!!!! I hadn't thought of that. You are correct. It would be world's easier than an IR heater and the drone just drops it off and comes back. I like it! A 3DR X8 looks pretty fancy. How much is such an animal?"
"Truly thanks all for your suggestions on panels. However, many of these options you are suggesting, just are too complicated to install on this ridge. I am sorry if I just can't give you a clear mental picture of this ridge we are talking about. I…"
"Ok, someone had suggested a phantom. Like I said, I know nothing about particular drone hardware. I am pretty good with electronics so driving a relay from any channel on a typical RC remote control should be no problem so long as I have one spare…"
"Yeah pedals pretty much has the right idea. I am hoping to not have to do anything else up there and it seems like a decent solution even if there are slightly better ones. I mean, there is a reason I am asking this in the late summer obviously. I…"
"JoeBob, rotor wash would probably work well most of the time. I agree that unless there is ice or crusty snow, just the air moving from the rotors would probably clear most all the snow. The heat source was just if there was ice or the snow was…"
"Thanks all for your suggestions. I probably didn't do a good enough job explaining this ridge and setup. Some of these recent suggestions imply we can just hike up there and flip off a cover or something. Here is a picture of the ridge. Its solid…"
"Well, yes, that is an appeal as well. Not going to lie.... I do like the idea of using a drone to do this, but seriously, if you think that there is a 5W heater that can keep a panel above 32F, I will look into it. That would be a ridiculously cheap…"
"Well, Bill, I am open to suggestions, but I just don't see a couple watts doing anything to prevent snow accumulating on the panels. There is 8 square feet of surface area here and its normal to have Colorado temperatures stay below 10 F for…"
"Cool, thanks for the info Graham. I was hoping I could bypass the switch with a relay or something, but we can get to that later. Do you have any suggestions as far as a specific drone to go for and what hardware? Again, I have been out of the…"
"Oh, well that is why I wanted to use propane as a heat source. You know those small 1 lb propane tanks that are used for camping? Well they make small infrared heaters that use those. They can run for about 3 hours and output around 5000 BTU / hr or…"
"The issue with any permanent equipment on the ridge is that I have extremely little power available. All the hardware up there only draws 14 watts. Any sort of powered heater or heater/blower would take at least 500 watts at the very least and would…"
I have an unusual application that I wanting some advice on to see if a drone may be feasible. We have a remote business here that relies on internet through an antenna powered by two small 60W solar panels. It works well, but we are having issues…