YRC & industry partner to discover the best solar technology for the North

February 4, 2016

As announced by Yukon College

Whitehorse – Yukoners will soon have a better understanding of what solar technologies could work best in the North. Cold Climate Innovation, of the Yukon Research Centre at Yukon College has partnered with Solvest Inc. and Triniti Technology to study solar technology performance in the North.

The Whitehorse Solar Study will explore what solar technologies work best under northern solar conditions. This study will examine four different solar technologies in the Yukon’s solar climate, with a focus on winter performance.

“We are filling a large research gap to better understand how solar can work for the North”, said Stephen Mooney, Director, Cold Climate Innovation, Yukon College. “This data could support Yukoners in deciding whether solar power could be an effective alternative energy for their home or business.”

Solvest, a Yukon company specializing in solar technologies, has installed a 3 kW solar array in the YuKonstruct compound that is supplying energy to their makerspace building. This array contains 12 modules, consisting of four different panel technologies: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, bi-facial monocrystalline, and thin film.

“Solar power could be a great energy alternative for northerners due to the challenges posed by generating energy in remote locations, however to do that northern residents need a clear picture of which technologies perform best given our climate and latitude conditions”, said Ben Power, Project Manager, Solvest Inc.

All four module types are being compared for low light performance or output in cloudy conditions. Southern Yukon in particular has a fairly cloudy climate with partial cloud prevalent for much of the year. Should one technology stand out considerably in this area it may prove to be the most economical solution for northern residents wishing to install solar systems.

Data will be collected throughout the winter and analyzed in spring of 2016. More information on this project can be found here.

Triniti Technology is a local technology solutions company that contributed $10,000.00 in funding to support this $20,000.00 research project.

Cold Climate Innovation is one of seven key programs that operate under the Yukon Research Centre at Yukon College. The others include: Biodiversity Monitoring, Northern Climate ExChange, NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Mine Life Cycle, Resources, and Sustainable Development in the Arctic, Science Adventures, and Technology Innovation.