Representative image of Queen's Innovation Park test site

Back to: Effects of snow on photovoltaic performance

16 panel solar array[edit | edit source]

  • 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[edit | edit source]

  • 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[edit | edit source]

  • 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[edit | edit source]

  • 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[edit | edit source]

Physical measurements[edit | edit source]

  • 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.
FA info icon.svg Angle down icon.svg Page data
Authors Rob Andrews
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
Related 0 subpages, 32 pages link here
Impact 373 page views
Created February 27, 2011 by Rob Andrews
Modified February 6, 2023 by Felipe Schenone
Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.