In the fall of 2006, Ontario Electrical Construction completed the installation of the largest photovoltaic system to date in Canada. It was an $800,000 pilot project with the goal of determining the ideal installation profile to generate the greatest power performance per square foot. The 100kW array was installed directly south of the Gardner Expressway, the busiest stretch of highway in Canada. The system’s proximity to the traffic provided a unique situation with regards to dirt, dust and salt accumulation on the panels. Tilt angle has a significant effect on soiling and overall performance; the steeper the tilt the lesser the effect of soiling as rain self-cleans the panels. However, the steeper the array the more space required eliminating self-shading and the more structural reinforcement required to keep the system in place. The system was composed of 4 sub-arrays that were installed at different angles with their own power conversion equipment to determine the optimum installation angle.
The project was the recipient of the 2006 Canadian Solar Industries Association Solar PV Project of the Year award.
Ontario Electrical Construction installation included 536- solar panels and related support structure, 4- inverters, 14- combiner boxes, 1- weather station, 1- web cam, 1- computer monitor, 1- flat screen and all related interconnecting conduit and wire.
Designer- Carmanah Technologies Corporation