Representative image of Queen's Innovation Park test site
Back to: Effects of snow on photovoltaic performance
 16 panel solar array
- There are 8 panels each of Nexpower amorphous silicon framed 100W and 8 panels of Bosch unframed micro-morph silicon 100W panels positioned at angles from 0 to 70 degrees from the horizontal in 10 degree increments.
- The panel at 0 degrees can pivot and allows for "dump" tests to determine the critical angle for snow shedding.
- The short circuit current of the panels is measured by a datalogger to give real time power outputs correlated directly with meteorological and thermal measurements.
 Meteorological sensors
- Snow sensor- Ultrasonic Snow sensor measures current snow depth. This is the same sensor used by Environment Canada for their snow depth measurements
- Ambient temperature- Radiation Shielded thermometer gives an accurate indication of the ambient temperature
- Wind speed and direction
- Incident solar radiation- Direct and diffuse solar radiation data will be used from a nearby solar laboratory
 Thermal and panel power sensors
- 32 channels of T-type thermocouples measure the temperature at the top and bottom of each panel
- 16 channels of shunt wiring measures the voltage drop across a resistor in series with each PV short circuit loop. This gives an accurate measurement of short circuit current.
 Visual observations
- A outdoor rated digital camera will be mounted nearby and used to take photographs of the array at constant intervals.
- This will allow for an analysis of the total snow cover, the snow melting patterns over time, as well as the collection of the snow shed beneath a panel.
 Campbell scientific datalogger
 Physical measurements
- Measurements will also be taken by hand at larger intervals on the following parameters
- Snow water equivalent- This is a measure of the relative density of the snow, and will be taken using snow cores.
- Accumulated precipitation- Measured using a standard rain gauge, will give another measure of the total precipitation between measurements
- Panel snow accumulation- Will measure the height of snow accumulation at the top and bottom of each panel.