24 Hours a Day of Solar Energy

Posted by in Front, on July 24, 2018

It is not often we get to see a solar energy system producing energy for 24 hours a day.  But for the last couple of months one of our systems has been doing just that.

The system in Pond Inlet, NU is located well above the arctic circle and the sun is currently above the horizon all day.  As you can see from the screenshot above, on one day in May the system was producing 293 watts at one minute after midnight.  That is not very much power but the system is mounted on a fixed rack facing due south so the sun was actually behind the photovoltaic panel at that time.  The panel was only getting indirect light.

High Performance in the Arctic

During the month of May we saw the 9.28 kW system produce as much as 75.7 kWh per day.  Solar energy designers call this ratio (daily kWh to kW) “Equivalent Full Sun Hours.”  So this system reached 8.16 equivalent full sun hours.   In comparison the best we have ever seen on BC’s south coast is 6.86.

The high performance of this system is based on three factors:

1) the fact the sun is up for 24 hours
2) low ambient temperatures which increase the performance of photovoltaic panels
3) snow covered surfaces which reflect additional light on to the panels.

Replacing Diesel

The system is supplying power to a community that runs a diesel micro-grid.  The production of solar energy reduces the amount of diesel burned for part of each year.  So, It is decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing other forms of pollution and helping the community become more self-reliant.

As this system illustrates there is significant potential for solar power in Canada’s far north.

We have funding to install more of these systems in remote indigenous communities through our subsidiary Solshare Energy. Contact us to learn more about how you can take advantage of this funding.  And if you want to take advantage of our experience installing high performance solar energy system on your home or business please let us know.

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