K2 Buddy: Digital snow load monitoring system for PV modules
K2 is the second highest mountain in the world and known for its impressive snowscapes. Not a coincidence at all that K2 Systems just launched K2 Buddy, the world’s first digital monitoring system for snow loads on the market.
This latest launch of K2 Systems was made necessary by the fact that heavy snow loads can damage and have serious consequences on solar installations. Learn here how the K2 Buddy can help you and your customers deal with heavy snowfall and find out what K2 has in store for 2024.
Softly falls the snow… but how does it impact PV systems?
Climate change is leading to an increasing number of extreme weather events. For each degree that the Earth’s atmospheric temperature rises, the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere can increase by about 7%, resulting in more dramatic snowfall even in mild winters.
Heavy or prolonged snowfall represents a clear risk for PV modules: as the size of the module increases, its load carrying capacity decreases. Too much and especially very wet snow, can cause solar modules to bend and be damaged. This can result in a loss of power output or even a complete module breakdown, along with high maintenance costs.
The K2 Buddy makes it easy to avoid these problems. The Buddy regularly measures the intensity of the load on the modules and allows owners and installers to monitor the snow load in real time, 24/7. The principle is quite simple: the system consists of a weighing device and a corresponding app on your smartphone.
Early warning saves you money, time and frustration
The K2 Buddy app is a fantastic resource for you, as its early warning system for impending module overload also helps you to optimise the maintenance intervals in everyday operations.
This is what the app can do: you can keep an eye on the snow load from anywhere and schedule maintenance in advance. It measures the current snow load on your PV system, converts it into a percentage value and displays its intensity. Red means: Get on the roof! If the warning level is yellow, you should check the modules immediately. You can of course use the individual values of the load limits for your installed modules.
A plus you will appreciate during maintenance: For a PV system equipped with the K2 Buddy, K2 offers you a 20-year warranty instead of a 12-year one. The system is designed for module frames with a height of 35 mm. However, K2 plans to offer a solution for 30 mm frames in the near future as well.
Buddy on the roof: where to place it?
The K2 Buddy system can be integrated into a new system or retrofitted to an existing PV system. Depending on the system, you only need one or – for exceptionally large systems – up to two weighing devices.
Practical: The well-known K2 Base Tool suggests you the best location for installing the K2 Buddy. It determines the perfect place for your K2 Buddy based on the parameters provided.
A benefit everywhere: areas where the K2 Buddy is particularly useful.
The K2 Buddy ensures the durability of PV systems not only in snowy regions – as extreme weather events can occur everywhere, it should be considered for every PV system. In this way, you can ensure long-term profitability for your customers.
Above all, you should monitor the snow load on solar installations in areas with a lot of snowfall, which are typically mountainous regions or low mountain ranges. The K2 Buddy is particularly useful for PV systems installed on buildings that are not permanently inhabited: with the app, you and your customers can always keep an eye on the situation of vacant properties, holiday homes or ski regions from the comfort of your own home.
2024 with K2 – a preview of the new year
In addition to the K2 Buddy for systems with a frame height of 30 mm, K2 has even more up its sleeve. This is what we can expect in spring 2024:
- A dedicated system for ground-mounted solar installations
- A substructure for large solar carports
- The new K2 PV-Wall facade system, which the manufacturer will present at Intersolar 2023.
- The K2 Buddy means 24/7 live monitoring of the snow load on PV systems via app and from anywhere. This prevents damage and allows targeted maintenance planning as required.
- K2 offers an extended warranty on the mounting system from 12 to 20 years if you use K2 Buddy app and record your system in the K2 Docu app.
- The weighing system can also be retrofitted to existing systems. During installation, the K2 Base app shows you the correct location.
- The K2 Buddy can currently be integrated into systems with a module frame height of 35 mm. The version for 30 mm frames will follow in 2024.