Solar Photovoltaic FAQ
- Is Edmonton suitable for solar photovoltaic systems?
- Isn't Edmonton too cold for solar PV systems?
- Does the moon charge our panels at night?
- How does the system work?
- Why are the panels installed at different angles?
- 1. Is Edmonton suitable for solar photovoltaic systems?
- Yes! In fact, Edmonton is one of the most suitable cities in Canada because of the high potential of sunlight throughout the year.
For an updated interactive map of this information, visit Natural Resources Canada.
Source: Natural Resources Canada (2007). Photovoltaic potential and solar resources maps of Canada. Retrieved February 1, 2010
- 2. Isn't Edmonton too cold for solar PV systems?
No, solar PV depends on shortwave radiation from sunlight and is not affected by the temperature of the surrounding environment.
- 3. Does the moon charge our panels at night?
Incoming shortwave radiation, also known as light, from the moon does contribute in a small way to the solar PV system. Normally, light directly from the sun to the panels would produce an amount measured in Kwh (Kilowatt hour), whereas from the moon it might be measured in watts. Therefore the moon can contribute to the solar PV, but at a very small scale.
- 4. How does the system work?
The solar panels will convert photons contained in the shortwave radiation from the sun to direct current electricity. Installing the solar PV system will require the installation of an inverter to turn the DC electricity into alternating current for everyday use. Unused electricity will be sent back to “the grid”.
- 5. Why are the panels installed at different angles?
Since this is a demonstration project, the panels are installed at different angles to help NAIT students and researchers determine which angle will produce the most energy. This information will also be valuable to solar PV installers in the city to ensure their customers get the most from their solar PV systems.