Field Test & Evaluation of A Solar Snow Fence

This project will test and evaluate the functionality, effectiveness, and reliability of a prototype solar snow fence. Work in Stage 1 will focus on the installation of the solar snow fence. A site survey will be conducted to determine micro-siting of the solar snow fence, sensor placement, construction logistics, and off-grid electrical power layout and use. Geotechnical work will be performed and a construction plan, which will include site access points and equipment delivery/staging sites, will be developed. Solar snow fence will be built, and software to control solar tracking movement, snow fence stow angle, and other parameters will be uploaded to the programmable logic control. Sensor activation, calibration, and testing along with range-of-motion testing will be verified. Safety systems will be tested and validated. Stage 2 work will involve field evaluation of the solar snow fence. This will include validating solar tracking movement and energy capture, snow barrier positioning, and successful transition to-and-from snow barrier mode to solar tracking mode. Documentation of weather extremes and system maintenance requirements will also be made. Based on real-world conditions, system solar tracking from -65 to +65 degrees and snow barrier positioning of nearly 90 degrees will be validated. Autonomous transition between solar tracking and snow barrier positioning will be documented, and the control algorithms will be optimized/modified, as needed. Power generated through the capture of solar energy will be documented, including output voltage, current, and power. Power output profiles (daily and season) will also be documented. Controlled snowdrift formation on the leeward side of the solar snow fence will be measured, mapped, and compared with co-located wooden snow fence drift dimensions. Impacts on solar tracking operations and drift erosion will be analyzed. The point of connection between two dissimilar fences will be analyzed for effective snowdrift formation and impact on solar tracking operations. Real-world extreme environmental conditions will be documented that will include maximum sustained winds & gusts, exposure to hail, icing & freezing rain, and maximum high & low temperatures. Maintenance and any damage to the solar snow fence will be documented.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $99430
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-30, IDEA 234

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Jawed, Inam

  • Performing Organizations:

    Longboard Power, LLC.

  • Principal Investigators:

    Hegedus, Tibor

  • Start Date: 20211208
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01790529
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-30, IDEA 234
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Dec 8 2021 9:35AM